This past month of May through today June 23, 2018, has been very exciting for me since a hummingbird who has been feeding in my yard for a while made her nest on a tiny, delicate branch in a Eugenia bush just outside of my office. She laid two eggs, which is common for these birds. The nest was so expertly created by the mother bird. The inside was completely soft, smooth and round. The outer side was like a basket weave. The nest was so small that if you didn't know it was there, you'd walk by it and never see it. One leaf hid it and it blended into the bush so well. I can't believe how strong the nest adhered to the bush. It looked like the slightest breeze would knock it off the branch, but it did very well. I read up on how these nests are built and it is amazing that they use spider silk to secure the nest to a branch and to fortify their nest. That they know they need to use spider silk, what it is and how to find it is another incredible gift and mystery of nature.
The nest is so small that holding up a quarter next to it makes the quarter look huge.
The little babies were born the first week in June and at first it looked like one lived and the other one died. The larger bird was near the top of the nest, and the other one was laying down in the bottom, and did not even look alive. I was hoping that wasn't the case. In a week I was overjoyed to see that both had survived and were thriving!
The past two weeks were amazing - watching these birds growing and changing so quickly. Their mom was always around, buzzing and humming if I walked by the nest. I continued to take pictures of them every few days to keep track of their progress. They didn't mind me being there. Even the mother bird had trusted me by then because she knew I wouldn't hurt them.
When I was a child I never saw hummingbirds perch and I thought they just didn't do that unless to be in a nest. But, as an adult I see them perch often between trips to the feeder. They often stop on a branch or electrical wire for a break. I do love it when they fly right up to me and hover in front of my face. One word of caution, though: if you have a skylight outdoors in a patio, watch for hummers. I have had to save a couple of them because they thought the glass was open air and they kept flying into it believing they could get through it. So, I had to grab them by hand and move them out of the patio.
Each couple of days the birds evolved, their feathers came in, their colors changed, spots showed up on their white chests, and their beaks grew longer and the color of them changed, as well. In two weeks since hatching they were both sitting up in the nest, one facing one way and the other facing the opposite direction. Then they began to move around and both face the same way - towards the outside of the nest, my walkway, as opposed to the fence lining the other side. They were often having their beaks up waiting for food from their mom.
The other day, June 22, I could see that they were both filling up the space in the nest and their feathers looked good. It seemed to me that they would would soon be taking flight.
These are the last pictures I got of them because the next day when I went to check on them and take a picture, it was the first time the click of the camera startled them and they flew up out of the nest. They could fly very well. I was relieved that they came back to their nest within the hour and spent the night right there. In the morning they were off and flying once again. I suspect that this week they will be taking off to be more on their own. I have a couple of feeders in my yard so they will always have a place to have a drink and keep growing, and zip by me to say hi from time to time.
To read a message from the hummingbirds to us, please go to my Deva page.
Text and all images © Copyright 2018, Nora Amrani