Hummingbird Update (3 photos, 1 video)

I want to give you an update on the hummingbird nest in our lemon tree. Now, I obviously haven’t gone into full hummingbird documentary photographer mode (if you’re interested in such a documentary, I highly recommend Mike Spinak’s book “Growing up humming”), but we’ve been paying close enough attention to see what’s going on.

Here is mother being all watchful as crows fly above – their croaking alarmed her and she’s looking up, to see if there’s any imminent danger to her nest:

Watchful -- Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, California
Watchful hummingbird mother — Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, California

Not much was going on otherwise for a couple of days, but she got somewhat used to us peeking out through the window and walking past the lemon tree every now and then, and so she allowed me to get really close for a nice portrait of her:

Peacefulhummingbird mother sitting on the nest, Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, California
Peaceful hummingbird mother — Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, California

Then late in February, we discovered that one chick had hatched from its egg. The hummingbird chick is naked and blind at first, and we saw the hummingbird mother working tirelessly feeding the chick, cleaning the nest, warming up the chick with her body for a while, and flying out again to collect food for her baby.

The baby is tiny at first of course, and there wasn’t anything to see of it. Also, when the mother came in to feed it, she was facing away from us so there was nothing to see then either – except for the hummingbird mother’s back:

Hummingbird mother checks the surroundings while feeding the chick
Hummingbird mother checks the surroundings while feeding the chick

Sunday and Monday it rained, and it was very windy at times. The branch with the nest is not the strongest on the tree, and it was bent down by the rain and wind – the nest was tilted really dangerously to the side! When the rain paused and the mother flew out to get food for the chick, I quickly built an improvised brace for the branch with a broom and some duct tape. I also cut some twigs and removed some lemons, to reduce the weight. Just when I was done and snapped a photo of the chick with my phone, the hummingbird mother returned and angrily chirped at me because I was too close to her nest. Ungrateful little bird! ;-)

Now that the chick is growing, it’s filling the little nest pretty good and we can see it. Instead of a series of photos showing the mother feeding (really, stuffing) the chick, here’s a video of the whole thing. (and yes, that looks a bit brutal;-)

It’ll be fun to continue watching the chick grow. I just hope we don’t miss the moment when it’s fully fledged and leaves the nest for good!

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1 Response

  1. This is spectacularly magical!!! Yay you for fixing the nest and sharing the fabulous video! Gives new meaning to bobble heads!!;)

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