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A Nest!!!

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Old Friday 3rd June 2005, 16:39   #1
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Talking A Nest!!!

Hi everybody,

I need to share this, although some might be a bit jealous :
A female Anna's hummingbird has built a nest _just_ in front of our bedroom window ! I discovered that last saturday, when the nest was still just a small patch about the size of my thumbnail on a little twig. But she was really hard working, and by monday it was ready, and tuesday evening we discovered the first egg! And yesterday the second arrived. Now she is mainly sitting on the nest and brooding, at least this morning, which was a bit chilly. We went so mad about the nest that we purchased a digital camcorder on sunday to monitor the nest building, the hatching and rising of the chicks... wooooooo, I get all excited when I think of that! Can you imagine how hard it is to sleep if you know there is a small brave little hummingbird just a few feet away from you sleeping on her eggs?
O.k., I will try to cool down a bit. Does anyone know when we might expect the chicks to hatch? And is there anything we con do to help the little mother to rise her chicks? We have a feeder on our balcony on the other side of the appartment we are almost sure she visits, together with some plants (the ones those #$%$#&**%#$-sqirrels did let survive!), but as far as I know what she will mainly need are insects. Will it be helpful to put some fruit near the feeder to attract fruit flies? Any other ways? I think it would not be a good idea to put any source of food near the nest, because it might attract other (humming)birds and this would give the mother a lot of stress, do you agree?
Any suggestions how we can help our little mother will be greatly appreciated. I will post pictures when we have them (we only have a 35mm camera, so it will take some time) and maybe even put some of the movies in the internet, if I can figure out how. But in any case I will keep you updated about the little family!
Happy and excited greetings, MBP

Last edited by MBP : Tuesday 28th June 2005 at 20:32.
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Old Saturday 4th June 2005, 01:00   #2
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Little baby hummers need bugs to grow, instead of sugar water. If you have plenty of gnats in your garden, you'll be doing great! Get some photos for us! I have two females nesting around here somewhere, but I haven't been lucky enough to find a nest yet.
Hummingbird photos by me.
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Old Saturday 4th June 2005, 02:36   #3
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The best course of action here is no action at all. Momma hummingbird wouldn't have built a nest there had she not felt there weren't adequate facilities around to maintain her young. I would caution though on any interruptions and please understand that BirdForum does not allow photos of nesting birds. Just sit back and enjoy from the comfort of your home
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Old Saturday 4th June 2005, 03:53   #4
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Thanks KC. Yes, I also think that the motherbird knew what she was doing in building her nest at that particular spot. I should explain that it is far from being a garden. We live in one of these boring, but cheap apartment complexes, and the tree with the nest is right at a narrow passage between the building where our apartment is and another building with one of the laundry rooms. It is not too busy, but people are passing by, probably once or twice a week somebody from the facility is using one of these terrible leaf-blowers to keep the pathway clean, and of course there are the other apartments, occasionaly playing children... I do not know why she chose that twig right under our window, but of course we are very thankful for that. Maybe because being so close to a lot of humans it is save from other birds that might like eggs or young birds? And since we do have that good view from our window, it probably does not harm to make pictures, does it? Of course the first concern is always the safety of the birds! What also means keep it as secret as possible...
I was a little worried because we do not have much influence on the environment, and I would like to make things at least a bit easier for the mother. But probably we really should relax and just enjoy this great opportunity to watch one of these wonders of nature - especially since we will go back to hummingbird-depleted Germany this or next year...

Have a good and birdy weekend everybody!
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Old Tuesday 21st June 2005, 00:32   #5
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Unhappy A sad ending...

Hi everybody,

I really wish I could post some good news, but unfortunately the female has not shown up again since yesterday afternoon.

On Friday morning the two chicks hatched, and it did not look too bad. When we got up, I could see something moving in the nest and the second egg did have some cracks. When the mother returned, I got the impression she was feeding, but was not sure. Anyway, it was a bad morning they had chosen to hatch, because it was raining and rather cool - absolutely unusual for this time of year. The mother spend quite a lot of time sitting on the nest, keeping them warm and dry. Luckily, it got better during the day. From the time I returned from work until Saturday early afternoon though, we could not see anything of the chicks. When the mother returned from her short excursions, she almost immediately sat down on the nest without feeding, but sometimes did put her beak down into the nest, so we still had some hope. Early afternoon then I managed to watch her coming back, sitting down on the edge of the nest, and then a tiny, tiny little head rose up to her and she did obviously feed it. So we knew that at least one of the chicks was alive. But it was the last time we saw it. Sunday morning she was still sitting on the nest, but did not feed when returning. In the afternoon she was gone, and did not return. We were still trying to keep hope up until evening, but when she did not come for the night it was clear that everything was over.

My first thought was that something had happened to her, but thinking more closely about our observations I now tend to believe that there was something wrong with the chicks, and that they probably had been dead for a while until she finally gave up and left the nest. Of course this might just be the wish that at least she did survive. I do not know how raising of the chicks normally looks for hummingbirds, but I expect that the mother does feed most of the times immediately when she returns to the nest. What do you think of this?

I know that what happened is just absolutely natural, but it really hits you hard if it happens directly before your bedroom window...

Last edited by MBP : Tuesday 21st June 2005 at 00:34.
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