Friday, March 20, 2009

Humming in springtime

Today was the first day of Spring. While I realize this brings much happiness to most everyone on the planet, it makes me just a bit sad. Remember? It's not that I hate the sun. It's that I love the coziness of winter; fires in the fireplace, baking cookies, rain (or snow!) falling outside the windows, cuddling with puppy, snuggling under down comforters... Oh, and I HATE being hot and sweaty - which I get if the temperature is over about 77°. HOWEVER. It is now springtime. So I suppose I shall attempt to embrace it. We recently had a little taste of Mother Nature right outside my patio door... HUMMINGBIRDS!

When I first saw these guys - they were barely larger than tictacs

But that's not what they looked like when I first saw them. Note the progression that follows. Mama Hummingbird built her nest while we were in Africa (in December). Imagine how nice and quiet it was here at the house. No humans, no doggie. That poor mama hummingbird after we returned home. She and Lucca had MANY a face-off as Lucca tended to always be too close to that tree.

I caught a picture of Mama Hummingbird during a ridiculously
rainy night - protecting her eggs

(shot this with a 300mm lens from my sliding door)

I finally went outside one day to see what the commotion was about. And suddenly noticed the nest. A tiny little nest securely tucked into a branch of my potato vine tree! (Those eggs were just under a 1/2" in length.) It was incredibly fascinating to follow the progression...

You should be able to click on the pictures to see them larger

The nest ---------- 2 eggs laid

Day after hatching ---------- Eight days old

Fifteen days old ---------------- Twenty days old

I poked my finger in there to show how tiny the nest and babies were - but was extremely careful to not touch anything. Didn't want Mama to smell something and not feed her babies. I was so worried they might fall when they were learning to fly. And that I'd find one on the ground [or in Lucca's mouth.] But fortunately they seemed to develop very healthily and flew away by 28 days old.

"We're outtie Mom!" ---------------- The lonely nest after they left

We felt like little kids climbing up on a stool to peer at them every few days. I was a bit sad when they left. But I think Lucca's relieved she doesn't get squawked at each time she goes out her doggie-door...

Happy Spring!


  1. these pictures are AMAZING!!! what a treat to have witnessed this first hand!

  2. wow. this is so cool. u do have a lot of time on your hands. how did you even find this nest? or catch the babies? you stalker, you!