What Are The Odds?
Aug. 6, 2013 10:25 am
Updated: Aug. 14, 2013 12:33 pm
What are the odds of a hummingbird nesting on a hummingbird ornament? Sounds strange but it's true.
A few weeks back my wife noticed that a hummingbird had perched a few times on our ornament on the patio just outside the kitchen window. Not thinking much of it I just ignored
it as we have several hummingbirds that visit the back yard.
One day as I sat on my back patio watching the "hummingbird wars" and their constant bickering over the feeders I noticed that this little girl started to build a nest.
Mind you, this ornament is only 8 feet from where I sit in the morning to drink my coffee or have a cold one in the evening. You would think I would bother her but no and to
my delight she just kept on building. At first I thought I should move but I decided to keep my routine instead of staying away until she was finished. She just kept on and never gave me
a second thought.
After observing this praiseworthy act I decide to do a little research and found out that she originally perched on it to check for stability. This ornament hangs from a motor
to turn it, which I rarely use. The primary use of the motor is for stability of the ornament and it won't be turned on while she is there. If I had not attached it to the motor I seriously doubt she would have nested there. I have hung it without the motor
but with the wind here it sometimes just flaps it around like a flag.
While watching her build her nest I noticed that she would go to a spider web that was running from my retaining wall to the grass and pecking at it. I thought what a great
way to entice the spider out for a quick morsel. Boy was I wrong! She uses the spider web for building the nest.
After watching her build the nest and when I though it was completed I decided I was going to take a mirror and see if there were eggs in the nest. Mirror in hand with the wife
behind the camera this is what we saw.
Very grainy but nevertheless eggs about the size of a Jelly Belly.
I'm simply amazed that she decided to nest there and go on about her business without me bothering her with my daily routine and weekly yard work.
With a little research I found out that the females build the nest on their own. No males allowed for fear that their bright colors may attract predators.
I only have two hummingbird feeder in my back yard mixed with four parts water and one part sugar, heated to dissolve the sugar and cooled. The feeders are red to attract the
hummingbirds. I don't use red food coloring. There is a possibility that it can cause kidney damage to the small birds. One is in close proximity of her and one further down in the yard. The feeder farthest away from her is free game but the one closest to
her is fiercely defended.
Her favorite plant for nectar and where she perches to keep a close eye on her nest and feeder. (Commonly know as a red yucca).
She's quite the little poser.
What I do know is that hummingbirds are masters of camouflage, well maybe not this one but she did a pretty good job. It is extremely hard to find a hummingbird's nest even
when you know they are there. So with camera in hand we went to our daughters house where she has two nests on her patio that is covered with wisteria. Our grands have pointed them out to us before but for the likes of me I couldn't find them again. With
the help of my granddaughter I found them again.
Inside this nest is a baby hummingbird and with the help of my grandson I got this mirror photo.
Another tidbit I learned: "Toilet training of baby hummingbirds comes built in. (A definite benefit of being a hummingbird
mom.) The baby hummingbirds will do everything they can to dispose of waste over the side of the nest".
This one kind of looks like a mouse but it's really a hummingbirds nest.
Koriekiss was kind enough to send me this photo of the hummingbirds at her mother's home. We had an impromptu So. Cal gathering there and
I'm so sorry that I didn't take my camera. Never have I seen so many hummingbirds in one place. They were swarming like bees on a hive at the several feeders there. Usually the most birds I've seen on my feeder is two. Great photo Koriekiss.
I have also noticed that the hotter the weather gets the higher on the nest she sits (assuming to keep the nest cooler) and has that look of panting.
Unfortunately when the weather gets above 96 degrees for several days the eggs will cook as these did. Nature has it's ways. The good news is that she will return if the nest
is not destroyed by the winter weather. I feel that it's location is pretty safe and I will keep a watchful eye on it.
For a wealth of information on hummingbirds here is a great site.
World of Hummingbirds.