Anna's Hummingbird nest
Jan 19, 2009

I discovered this nest in my client's garden just last week and was thrilled that she was still in the process of building it.

Jan 22, 2009

Wow, its hardly been two weeks since I noticed her building the nest and one egg has already been laid!!

Jan 24, 2009

She has laid her second egg!

Jan 28, 2009

I assumed that once the eggs had been laid that the nest construction would be fully completed. But this has not been the case as she continues to add nesting material. Now I understand why exactly. In order for the nest to accommodate the chicks it must be a certain size (depth). She needed the height of the eggs to be able to build up the nest further!! This way she can keep them warm and toasty as well as build up the nest. Notice the older nest photos vers newer:she had added 1/4 inch and is still going......they are truly amazing creatures.

February 8, 2009

Wow, today was really exciting for me as I just happened to check in on the nest when the eggs were hatching! Talk about lucky. I was so excited and giddy I had a hard time holding the camera steady. The first chick had hatched (maybe one hour prior) and the second was just hatching. It was amazing. The miracle of creation right before my eyes!!

February 11, 2009

So today I was able to witness the female feeding the chicks. Again she amazed me by inserting her entire beak (I would say inch and a half at least) into the little chick. Mind you the two chicks are only four days old!

February 18, 2009

Mama is away from the nest most of the time now that she has two hungry chicks to feed. This morning she was away from the nest for over an hour in mid 40 degree temperatures!! Must say I was somewhat concerned that the chicks would be a little chilly but Mama knows what she is doing!! The chicks are growing at an amazing rate; only ten days old and they have doubled in size already.

February 25, 2009

The chicks are growing so fast its hard to keep up with the progress. They are already showing adult colors at 17 days old. Mama is almost never at the nest as she has two very hungry chicks to feed. She returns to the nest every 40 or so minutes to feed them. What a tireless, dedicated mother! I had the idea to bring some flowering plants in containers that I know she will use and place them near the nest to make it a little easier on her. Wish I had thought of that earlier!

March 4, 2009

Forget about 'keeping up' with the chicks ( now 24 days old)...they are about to leave! I feel like I haven't been to the nest in weeks instead of days....they have gotten so big. They chicks seem to barely fit into the nest like the absurd scene of an adult squeezed on a child's bicycle. Just after I get a picture of the two, the larger chick decides its time to leave (perhaps it sensed the nest was about to give) and pushes off perfectly and lands a few feet away from the nest. Ok, now what? Is it officially 'on its own'? Well no actually. When Mama returns the one that left the nest is fed first. As if they had done it this way from the get go. She then returns to the nest and feds the other chick. This is moving way to fast for me....I feel as if the Hummingbirds are 'folding time' instead of 'folding space' (Dune reference). How else could she raise her chicks so quickly?!?! : )

March 5, 2009

Thought I should get back to nest before the chicks are completely gone. To my relief, both were still there just as I left them the day before. The larger chick is still nearby in the tree being fed by Mama. It is cute to hear his squeaks as I have never heard baby Hummer sounds before. Also you will notice from the pink blurs in the background that the tree that the nest holds is blooming. Time marches on.

March 7, 2009

The nest is empty. And yet the last photo in this set will not be an empty nest (always figured it would be) as this journey is not quite finished. The smaller of the two chicks (27 days old) now waits, as the first one had done, for Mama to feed it on a branch in the tree. The larger chick was not to be seen at first but returned to the tree as I waited for Mama to return with food. He proceeded to feed on the flower clusters in the tree as if he had always done so. Not at all awkward as a fledgling would be. But the smaller patiently waited for Mama to return as he passed the time by stretching and extending his wings.

March 8 , 2008

Today I returned to find both chicks back together in the same tree as the nest. In fact, the larger chick (almost as big as Mama) even hoovers over the smaller as if to feed it just like the mother does. Gets a bit confusing as to who is child and who is parent. Mama fed both fledglings in the tree today as the two also feed from the flowers in the tree. The larger by flying to the flowers while the other leans over from a cute.

I have also noticed that the fledglings 'call' to each other. They really do seem to have bonded. One will chirp and the other will answer either from the same or different tree.

March 11, 2009

I am certain that the mother still feeds at least one of the fledglings. I could hear (but not see) the 'squeak' of the fledgling in the neighbor's tree.

March 18, 2009

Now I really thought that they had left for good but not so!! Today I was once again surprised (how many times has that happened with this family) to suddenly see one of the fledglings return to feed on the flowers in the tree that hold the nest!! : )

March 25, 2009

So I am quite sure that the two young Hummers frequent the garden that they were raised in. I hear their squeaking sounds as well as see them feeding on the flowering tree in which they were reared. I have attempted to get a picture but alas, as you may notice by looking at my photostream, I do much better with subjects that are not in motion!!
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