She may be carrying weight for the migration. It is also the time they are getting eggs, so ur guess is as good as mine. I haven't seen a female yet, but they usually get to mating and nest building pretty quickly and They sneak in and out for nectar.
But to answer your question. They migrate north about 2 weeks after the males I think. Meet a mate in the north and than nest build. I don't think anyone knows if she has a eggs while she is building, but I would image so.
I think this gal really arrived with some in the oven, which surprises me. She must of found a suitor she was much obliged with along the route and decided she will really hop to the nest building as she as she got here. Oh heck, anything is possible I guess in Mother Nature. I have learned to expect the unexpected.
Anything is possible I suppose, but I think if she was ith egg, her natural instinct would tell her she needs to begin nesting. Now that is not today she mated nearby and just happened along your backyard. Or has a nest nearby already. I'm sure Nancy could tell you what to look for in her body shape.
It does seem abit early for females to have eggs but I am not knowledgable in this area. Although they do only produce two eggs and they are the size of tic-tacs so Im not sure if a female would look fat because of that.
Of interest in my yard today for the first time I have watched some territory disputes. Which of course means I have more than one but Im guessing there have 3 or 4 in my yard at one time today. It may due somewhat to the rainy afternoon lack of accessable insects and the desire to covet a feeder or two.
The thing that surprised me is that she arrived this way. I figured she would of stayed put where she got in the motherly way at instead of continuing north. I haven't seen her, she either laid her eggs or went on. Much thinner females this morning.
This is one of my females and the photo was taken the first time I saw her on April 22nd. She appears healthy, better than saying fat, but I doubt she was with eggs. How does her size compare with yours?
Beautiful capture Russ! Yes, she did look a lot like that, but a tad more in the abdomen. I just have never seen one in her shape until after what I assumed was mating after the keepers stayed on.I have no experience in this area so, she could of just been very healthy after all.
If she was just health (fat) she was very lucky. Most hummingbirds use up all their fat reserves on the way up north. It would be strange if she was with egg during migration.Maybe she found a good food supply somewhere..
The term 'pregnant' [or 'gravid'] does not apply to birds insofar as it means to carry living young within the body. In that respect, mammals carry living young that develop and are nourished inside the bodies of females.
I don't know exactly how long a fertilized egg is carried inside a female bird, but it can't be more than a few days. To the best of my knowledge, female hummers arrive on their breeding grounds, usually near their own point of hatching, and they begin constructing the nest. Supposedly, this activity stimulates ovulation and shortly before the nest is completed, the female seeks a male at his territory.
If the time is right and the male suits her fancy, she will permit the male to mate with her. I do not know if copulation occurs more than once or if a female might copulate with 2 different males. That kind of study is left to others. During the period of ovulation, the female has some fluid inside her body cavity and it is said that her ankles swell, but I have not been able to discern this condition unless I have the individual in my hand and view the bare skin of the belly.
After mating, the female returns to her nearly completed nest. I also do not know the length of time between mating and laying of the first egg. The second egg is laid after a 2-3 day interval.
I am aware that some reptiles and fishes [especially primitive ones such as sharks] can carry developing eggs within their bodies, but as far as I know birds are not able to do so. In the cases of reptiles and fishes, the young develop in an egg that receives no sustenance from the female, unlike mammals. For birds, the laying of eggs permits the female to move around without having to bear the extra weight gain associated with the developing young. Nesting hummers do not carry fat and I am not able to distinguish which individuals might be carrying an egg [an extremely transitory condition] or not. Appearances of being fat are often deceiving.