Coming across a tailless hummingbird hurts a lot. Many people say that hummingbirds can regrow tail feathers. Now, the question is, can they? Don’t worry! Below you will get the answers related to hummingbirds and their tail feathers right below.
How do hummingbirds lose tail feathers?
Hummingbirds lose tail feathers on many occasions. One of the most common reasons why hummingbirds become tailless is molding. The hummers shed their old feathers when growing and get new feathers over time. So, they shed their tail feathers during molding. You can often see them flying tailless during molding season.
Also, a male hummingbird might get into a fight with another, resulting in losing their tail feathers. Hummingbirds have a high flying speed. So, an accident during a flight can harm the birds severely. Many times a trap or injury might pull out the tail feathers from a hummingbird. Furthermore, hummingbirds have nectar or sugar water as the main diet. They are sticky foods that upon falling on the birds’ tails might come off with the feathers mercilessly.
Can hummingbirds regrow tail feathers?
Hummingbirds do regrow their tail feathers on some occasions. It’s important to know these cases if you find a hummingbird without tail feathers. Let’s find out right below!
Healthy hummingbird can grow tail feathers easily
Hummingbird feathers are similar to our hair. Humans have hair falling issues if they don’t consume a balanced and healthy diet. Similarly, hummingbirds get feather shedding issues if they don’t get enough nutrition. So, their tail feathers will regrow only when they take a healthy diet.
Besides, hummingbird feathers are made up of a specific type of protein. So, hummingbirds should consume the required protein to get new tail feathers after shedding.
Having healthy follicles allows feather growth
Feathers grow from follicles present on the hummingbird skin. However, these follicles might get damaged due injuries and predator attacks. A hummingbird with damaged feather follicles in the tail might not regrow their tail feathers. In such cases, the hummingbirds might get scattered feathers in the tail, making it appear weak and tiny.
Hummingbirds can easily regrow their tail feathers if their follicles are alright. Many survivor hummers get back their tail feathers after facing brutal attacks.
Bodies have the required Vitamins
Apart from proteins, vitamins are essential for hair and feathers to grow. Many times, a hummingbird might have a vitamin deficiency. So, they might face immense issues to regrow their tail feathers. Veterinary doctors usually recommend vitamin supplements for hummingbirds facing trouble getting new feathers in their tails.
However, it won’t be an issue if the hummingbird has sufficient vitamins in its body. Their tails rapidly grow when the hummers consume the right balance of nutrients – energy, protein, and vitamins.
Bird bodies which are mites free can easily regrow feathers
Mites and parasites don’t spare birds. They often get into small birds like the hummers, causing them immense issues. One of the common aftermaths of hummingbirds getting mites infestation is constant itching. You might observe them pecking and comforting their urge to itch. Such a habit or necessity might lead to feather loss from different parts of their bodies, including their tails. Surprisingly, they will lose their feathers every time.
Besides, they might damage their follicles at their tails due to pecking. The hummingbirds will not regrow their tails in such cases. However, they will easily regrow their tail feathers if their bodies are free from mites.
Bruises suppress the growth of a hummingbird’s tail. Although their injuries heal rapidly, they won’t regrow their feathers if their tail wounds don’t heal. So, the first thing to check in a tailless hummer is bruises on their hind part.
However, they will quickly get new feathers once their bruises dry up and new skin regenerates.
They consume enough water
Many hummingbirds cannot regrow their tail feathers due to a lack of water in their bodies. But, the birds consuming enough water every day will easily get new tail feathers.
As already discussed, hummingbirds mold, shedding their old feathers to get new plumage. They will regrow new tail feathers if they get lost due to molding.
Now, you might be thinking that the tail is an essential part for a hummingbird. Can they live without tail feathers? Let’s investigate more.
Can hummingbirds survive without tail feathers?
Tails are essential to a hummingbird. However, the lack of tail feathers won’t interfere with their flying abilities. They can still fly without having tail feathers. Also, they can handle dangers and get food for themselves without having tail feathers for days. Hummers don’t have anything life-critical that they cannot do without a tail. So, they will be alright even if they miss a tail for life.
However, they might not impress the female hummingbirds without a tail. So, a lack of tail feathers might interfere with their mating behaviors. Luckily, mating is not a necessity for the birds to live. Thus, hummingbirds can stay fine without any tail feathers, regardless of the duration of their plumage loss.
How long does it take for a hummingbird to regrow tail feathers?
If you have a tailless hummer, you might be worried about its feather regrowth duration. Let’s understand the time taken according to various situations right below!
- Injuries: If the injuries on a hummingbird’s tail are light, new feathers will come within 4-6 weeks after their wounds dry up. However, their bruises should not damage the follicles for the feathers to regrow.
- Molding: They get new feathers within 3-4 weeks of molding and shedding their old plumage.
- Mites: Mites induce plumage pecking habits in a hummingbird. So, they remove baby tail feathers as they come out. So, it might take 6-7 weeks to reduce mite infestation and regrow tail feathers in a hummer.
- Follicle damage: Unfortunately, a hummingbird might not regrow its tail feathers if its follicles get damaged due to severe bruises and pecking.
Hummingbirds quickly heal and regrow their tail feathers, provided they don’t have a severe underlying issues like mites and bruises. So, you should carefully investigate the bird and treat it accordingly to help it regrow its tail feathers.