Birds around here only need a couple days of springlike weather to get the idea: time to nest! I caught this sweet little hummingbird (a female Anna’s, I believe) gathering some nest materials among the marsh cattails.

She got a good beakfull before she took off for parts unknown. Ever seen a hummingbird nest? Scroll down.

We had a bamboo wind chime in California that housed a hummingbird nest. To our delight it was located just outside a glass sliding door. It was quite a hub of activity as first the hummer built the nest and then negotiated a no-fly zone with all the neighborhood birds that used the fountain located about four feet below it. They worked it out. As long as the hummingbird nested above other birds flew in low, never invading the airspace of about two feet around the wind chime and the nest. Eggs hatched in a couple of weeks (16-17 days according to my bird book) and we saw at least one miniscule beak. Work prevented our collapsing into full time viewing. It seemed they were gone in almost the blink of an eye. We waited months before we examined and then collected the nest from our wind chime. The exterior includes tiny pieces of soft redwood bark and lichen. The interior is very soft. It could well be cattail down. And the paper clip pictured here is actually slightly smaller than the standard chrome variety. It is 1-1/8 inch long.

I love hummingbirds. I may post a couple more from this series. But tomorrow: another sort of bird. . .a very big one.

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Weekly Top Shot #77

12 thoughts on “Nesting”

  1. This is one the more interesting birds to watch. Your season is much further ahead than what we are getting here in Ontario, Canada.

  2. Hats off to you, Kay! These are breathtakingly PERFECT shots of this little bird. When visiting friends in NM whose casa is surrounded by hummingbirds, I enjoyed watching these fiesty little critters!

  3. A superb post. I envy your ability to attract and then photograph hummingbirds! They are so fast…our daughter in Colorado has got some good photos but I’ve never been successful shooting them (with a camera … or any other way!). Your photos are fantastic. And I love that wee nest. Very interesting!

  4. Hummingbirds AND cattails, two simple joys that delight me!
    Our hummers won’t be around for quite a while yet, but I look forward to them every year.
    One year we had one come in through our patio door & into our house.. what excitement that was, trying to catch it! We eventually guided it back outside.
    Growing up, my parents were avid backyard birders & had several hummingbird nests in the giant pine trees around the house. My mom still has the nest they built with silver horse hair from our childhood horse’s mane & tail. She found it in the off season, and keeps in in her book case. The most delicate thing!

  5. Many kindred spirits to be found everywhere…plenty of us are bloggers. Feel free to send me an email sometime if you have questions… I’ve been on this journey for a while now and though it is different for everyone, I’d be happy to connect outside of the blogging realm if it would be helpful.

  6. Terrific captures, Kay. I’m glad you watermarked them. You must’ve been really excited when you had this encounter — very cool! Amazing how small that nest is. The paperclip really gives a good perspective of the size.

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