May 1 – one baby left
Late this afternoon I walked over to inspect the nest and saw only one baby. I had to use the flash to get a picture as the nest was in deep shadow. Two days ago there were still two in there:
April 29th – still 2 on board
Late afternoon light is a good time for pictures as the low sun makes for dramatic contrast.
The babies are 10 days old now, and have increased in size enormously. They should be in the nest for another 10 days before they can fly. When I arrived the pair were sitting with beaks up, and no mother in sight. Then a squeak and she appeared on the nest. A quick feed and then she was gone. One baby got up and stretched, then they went back to their repose with beaks up.
baby stands up for a stretch and a look around
hey, there’s a world out there
back to sleep again
view from the sunny side – she always has her back to the sun
The baby hummingbirds arrived either Sunday April 8, or Monday the 9th. Anyways, on Monday the mother was feeding and the day before she was not. She keeps her back to the sun and so when I shoot from the east side my camera can’t deal with the brightness of the sky and the dim light within the tree.
feeding baby hummingbirds
I managed to fix them up as best I can, and they do give an idea of what’s going on. I was lucky to get a shot of the mother’s long tongue quite by luck.
Coincident with the hatched hummers, comes the first turtle of the season.
quietly she waits, keeping the eggs warm
The hummingbird sits patiently still. No babies yet to be seen. Nearby we see some other birds, no doubt thinking about nesting, or are they?
flicker chipping holes
spotted towhee, and a golden crowned sparrow
I visited 2 days ago, and it was raining.
I thought the nest was empty:
not quite empty
On closer inspection I saw that the mother was there, when she decided to shift position.
Back to the nest this afternoon, and the momma was sitting there when we arrived. No babies yet. Once again it was sunny and windy. I sat on the opposite side of the sun and tried to get some shots but the light was bad. Just then I looked up and there right above the nest, perhaps within 20 feet, sat a very windblown red tailed hawk. It too had the sun at its back so I had to move about to try and get a shot from a better angle. I was going from hawk to hummingbird, adjusting my camera and trying for a good shot all the while the wind was blowing the hawk’s feathers and the hummingbird nest all over the place.
female Anna’s Hummingbird
I bet the hummingbird knew the hawk was there – she hardly moved while we observed her, the hawk right above her nest.
Red Tailed Hawk
A few people passed by and didn’t notice anything, so we didn’t bother to tell them what we were looking at either. Further on we saw numerous birds and one oddity – a Rufous, or Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus), an uncommon bird hereabouts.
Rufous or Eastern Towhee
The regular crowd was out too; one Great Blue Heron, Mallards, Song Sparrows, Coots and Stellar’s Jays
More scenes from forest and field:
Stellar’s Jays are back for a while in transit
established lodgings for sparrows, after years sitting empty
Grape Hyacinth (muscari) in the field