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Chore Chart for Raising Hummingbirds:
Duties for Males and Females

Background
Even though it's not written down anywhere, male and female hummingbirds know what their duties are when it comes to raising young. Before you begin, you may want to read helpful background information about hummingbird reproduction:

In this activity, students fill out a chart to show how hummingbird parents divide each of the following responsibiliites in raising their babies:

  • select territory
  • defend territory against other hummingbirds
  • select nest site
  • gather nesting materials
  • build or repair nest
  • chase away predators
  • lay eggs
  • incubate eggs
  • turn eggs
  • fill crop with nectar and insects
  • regurgitate food to young at nest
  • sit on nest to brood young
  • encourage young to fly
  • lead fledglings to good flowers
  • keep feeding fledglings until they are independent


Activity
Record each duty from the list above in the appropriate column of the Chore Chart below. Then compare the work-load of the male and female hummingbird with the discussion questions below the chart. (You may wish to create a large wall chart in the classroom with the headings below.)

Male Hummer's Duties

Shared Duties

Female Hummer's Duties

     

Try This! Journaling/Discussion Questions

1. The female hummingbird has many more nesting chores than the male has. But adult male hummingbirds die at a faster rate than females. Is this evidence that the jobs of both are of similar importance? Explain your thinking.

2. Would you rather be a male or female hummingbird? Why?

3. Compare how male and female hummers divide the tasks of raising young with how robins and eagles divide their chores. (See the robin's "Chore Chart," and the Bald Eagle's Chore Chart.)

  • What do you think are some of the reasons for these differences?
  • Which species has the most shared responsibilities?
  • Which species has the most similar male and female plumage?
  • Do you think how the male and female look is related to how much they share parental duties?


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