Microclimate selection by nesting hummingbirds

TitleMicroclimate selection by nesting hummingbirds
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1973
AuthorsSouthwick EE
JournalAmerican Zoologist

Data obtained from field measurements was used in conjunction with physically based energy balance equations to estimate the metabolism of nestling Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (Archilocus colubris). Data is presented which suggest that the adult female selects a particular microclimate for nest construction. She seeks out a site optimizing environmental conditions such that the energetic cost to the exposed nestlings is reduced to a minimum. Partitioning of the energy exchange routes revealed the relative importance of radiant exchange, convective exchange, and evaporative heat loss in the energy balance of the nestlings at the nest site.