- Pets and Animals
A Home for Hummingbirds
Making a man-made nest for hummingbirds
This is story of how a man-made hummingbird's nest was fashioned to save a hummingbird family from near disaster. The original nest was infested with bird mites which drove the baby chicks to abandon their nest. One of the baby hummers fell to the pavement and was near death.
I chronicled the daily happenings with videos and photos from beginning till end, capturing all the unexpected drama and suspense until the hummers fledged. This is the story of how an artificial man-made nest became a home for hummingbirds.
All photos were taken me Bakerwoman--All rights reserved.
On the morning of April 17th, I was delighted to find this hummingbird nest with one egg.The mother hummingbird chose a pink ivy geranium, not because it was her favorite color, but because the plant was dense, and had strong stems which bounced and swayed with the wind.
April 18 - Then there were two small eggs. In my extreme excitement, I hovered over the nest and took lots of photos.
April 19 - The two eggs had disappeared! The mother hummer may have relocated the eggs due to invasion of her privacy, or some predator may have stolen the eggs.
The back of the nest was camouflaged with dried geranium leaves glued together with spider's web. Notice how much shorter the nest is next to the wine cork. Perhaps, mother hummingbird did not like the whiff of Chardonnay?
So what is with ivy geraniums and hummingbird's nests? This is the third time that a nest has been built on one of these potted trailing plants. There are several reasons I can think of based on my encounters with hummingbirds: the fan-like leaves hide the nest well; the trailing branches bounce and sway with the wind; no other kind of bird could hover and invade the little nest which would not be able to hold its weight; the plant is hanging on a trellis against the side of the house, which serves as a wind breaker; and the swimming pool keeps the area cool.
This new nest was built outside my bedroom window, which made it so convenient to peak at what is going on.
This nest is in the early stages of construction, with leaves, bud scales, and moss glued together with spider's web. The walls are thin and semi-transparent. It takes about 5-6 days to build a nest with the mother hummer making 34 trips an hour to and from the nest bringing in more nest materials.
This nest is cantilevered, meaning it is only supported on one end and the rest floats in the air. There are two pine needles sticking out of the nest, perhaps to add to the structure, but definitely not for stability. The mother hummer gets an A+ for her artistic flair. But as for her engineering prowess, that remains to be seen.
The diameter of the hummingbird's nest is just a little bigger than a quarter. In a few more days, the walls of the nest will be thicker with added plant fibers, weed stems, plant down, and lichen to give it structure. The bottom and the wind-side of the the nest will be thicker, and the backside and upper portion thinner.
The mother hummer, who we have affectionately named Hummie, is an Allen's hummingbird, which is native to coastal California and a miniscule portion of lower Oregon. The name commemorates Charles Andrew Allen (1841-1930) and American collector and taxidermist from Marin County, California. Allen's hummingbird is one of the smallest hummingbirds in the North American continent.
Female Allen's and immature Rufuous hummingbirds look so much alike that sometimes it is difficult to tell them apart.
The male Allen's hummer is smaller than the female but makes up for the diminutive stature with a iridescent reddish-brown gorget (throat), rufous sides and metallic green head and back.
First hummingbird's egg May 26
Imagine the excitement I felt after seeing this! The white oval egg was about the size of a coffee bean. More plant down had been added to thicken the walls of the nest and a sprinkling of moss and lichen were added for camouflage.
Second Egg May 28 - Jelly bellies
Two days later, a second egg was laid in the nest. These eggs are half the size of jelly bellies. That is how tiny they are!
Hummie sat on the nest most of the day to keep the eggs warm and guard them against predators. She would only leave the nest to forage for nectar and bugs and return every 10 minutes.
Experience the discovery of a new nest with this video. - May 23-June 11
Mother Hummie will sit on the nest for 15 days - Incubation period
Introducing Hummie, the Allen's hummingbird mother, so tiny and petite, compared to any hummingbirds I have ever seen. Barely 3 inches long from the tip of her tail to her bill, Hummie has a distinct brown throat patch which would become iridescent orange when she moved her head from side to side. A real lightweight, Hummie only weighs as much as a dime.The hummingbird mother will shiver and quiver in the nest to produce more heat to keep the eggs warm.
Day 1 June 12 Happy Birthday Sela - One baby Allen's hummingbird hatched
One little hummer, I named Sela, had hatched in the early morning next to an egg with a crack on it. It looked like Hummie, the momma had already disposed of Sela's egg shells as far away from the nest as possible so as not to leave clues for predators. The embryo inside the second egg could be seen moving around and getting ready to hatch. This was captured on video, and although it is a bit grainy, it is a must-see. I was a nervous wreck during this filming.
Second egg hatched June 12 - Welcome Sela and Sasi
It was almost noon and the temperature rose to the 90's. The second hummer, I named Sasi, finally broke out of its shell as the nest swayed with the wind. The hatchling struggled for a while to get the two halves of the shells out of its way, but only to get its behind stuck in one of them.
The two hatchlings, Sela and Sasi, were named after the scientific name Selasphorus Sasin for the Allen's hummingbird specie. I took two syllables from each of the two Latin words and created the names, Sela and Sasi.
The two eggs were laid two days apart but hatched the same day. Hummers have a way to incubate eggs so this would happen.
Day 1 The Birth of a hummingbird
Day 2 June 13- Two little raisins - Mother's instinct at its best
Hummie has cleaned up almost all the broken egg shells in the nest. The two-day old hummer babies look like raisins with feather tracts of rufous or reddish-brown fuzz on their backs. This is the area where they need insulation the most.
The hummers were born blind but can hear and feel the wind from Hummie's wings when she comes to feed. Immediately, Sela and Sasi will lift up their heads and open their short orange beaks to beg for food.
Hummie has become very protective of her two 2-day old babies. She flew into the nest and noticed the camera on a tripod pointed at the nest, stared at it head-on and started to fan her tail. Her reflection on the camera lens may have misled her to think that there was another hummer threatening the nestlings.
Watch Hummie fan her tail - Show of aggression
Listen to Hummie's tail make the cricket-like sound as she fanned her tail at the camera.
Day 3 June 14- A real kicker - Shake a leg, Sasi!
The two hummers have grown overnight and napped most of the time. Even a 3-day-old nestling can kick the nest with one foot when the nestmate is taking up too much space.
Day 4 June 15- Big mouths - Eating machines
The orange beaks have grown wider and longer so mother Hummie can better aim food into the nestlings' throats.
Day 4 - Making room for the growing family - More elbow room
What does the mother hummer do to make sure the nest is big enough for her growing babies? Watch Hummie shimmy, jiggle, and use her body, wings and chest to stretch and expand the nest in four directions.
Day 5 June 16- Sharing body heat - Warming up with feather down
At Day 5, the two nestlings snuggle next to each other to share body heat. The tufts of fuzzies have grown longer and thicker which help insulate the backs of the hummers.
Day 6-7 June 17-18 Extra skin and pin feathers - Transformation overnight
The two nestlings have grown extra skin around their bodies to accommodate their expanding volume. The nest looked like it is getting crowded.
The fuzzies have turned into pin feathers which will eventually become real feathers.
Hummie, the mother hummer has a long tongue which is forked and have fringes at the tip. Capillary action helps draw in more fluid. She laps up nectar by extending and contracting her tongue 13 times per second. Contrary to popular belief, hummingbirds do not suck nectar with their beaks like a straw. Instead nectar is lapped up like a cat would drink water.
Hummie continues to feed the 8-day-old babies who must constantly eat in order to stay alive because of their high metabolic needs.
Day 9 June 20 Trouble Brewing - The nest is coming apart at the seams
The nest is beginning to slope to one side due to gravity and the mother's weight when she perches on one side to feed the babies. The plant down has started to destabilize from the squirming bodies rubbing against the inside of the nest. The structural integrity of the nest is going downhill.
Day 9 Feeding the babies is more important
Hummie, the momma continues to perch on one edge of the sloping nest to feed her young. Her added weight is putting a strain on the nest. Unfortunately, this is the only way can reach those open beaks.
Day 10 June 21- Eyes can now see - There is a big world out there.
The 10-day-old hummer babies can now see and are wondering what is going on. Their orange beaks have grown longer and darker. In order to fit better and stay comfortable in the nest, the hummers frequently change positions.
Trying to stay put
Watch the 10-day-old hummer squirm inside the thinning and sagging nest. Notice the walls of the nest contract and expand with every movement. The nest is beginning to lose its stability and structure.
Day 11 June 22 Nest is getting really crowded - A call for expansion
More pin feathers have developed so Sela and Sasi can keep themselves warm without relying too much on Mom's body heat. Mom has to find bugs for protein and nectar to feed her two nestlings.
Day 12 June 23- Lopsided nest - A weighty problem
The growing hummers have difficulty staying still in the nest which has become lopsided. The withered leaves around the nest were left untouched to camouflage it from snooping larger birds, like robins and crows.
Day 13 June 24 Slipping and Sliding - Double trouble
Sela and Sasi could barely stay inside the nest without sliding off the edge. Both of them spent more time squirming and adjusting their bodies against each other to avoid falling out of the nest. Just think of the energy being wasted which the developing babies need so badly. It is like being on a treadmill all day to lose weight.
Balancing Act - Like being on a tightrope
The hummer's nest continued to slant to one side which made it very awkward for the babies to keep still. Watch how Sela struggles to stay in the nest while Sasi naps.
A temporary fix - Nest straightened out
The nest was straightened out a bit by tying two of the geranium branches together at the bottom of the pot with a twine. This was a short-term solution and not the best one.
The 13-day-old nestlings calmed down after the nest was no longer sagging. All the squirming was too much exercise for the growing hummers causing them unnecessary stress and fatigue.
Double helpings for the brood - Feeding frenzy
Mother hummer could now feed Sela and Sasi from her perch after the nest was straightened out. She had a lot of trouble leaning over to feed them before the fix. To compensate for a few lost meals, Hummie flew in and gave the two hungry babies double helpings. Watch how momma tried to feed them on the opposite side of the nest only to return to her original perch.
The 14-day-old hummer chicks have grown wings and tail feathers. The nest is also getting more crowded, so they change positions often to fit more comfortably.
Day 15 June 26 - Sasi jumps out of nest, not once, but twice. - Pine Needle saves Sasi
The morning of day 15 found Sasi upside-down and clinging for her dear life on the pine needles. After gingerly plucking the fragile hummer baby from her tight grip on the pine needles, she was put back in the cramped nest. A few minutes later, Sasi did the same stunt.
Something needed to be done quickly to prevent a fatal fall. There was no time to speculate as to why the little hummer kept falling out or jumping out of the nest.
Little Sasi looked so tired and exhausted after the accident. Who knows how long she has been clinging onto the pine needle when she was found.
Hummie, the mother hummingbird may not be an expert nest builder, but she must have put the pine needles on the side of the nest for a purpose. It was apparent today. Kudos to the momma for her foresight and creativity.
Pine Needles save Sasi
This video shows Sasi clinging precariously on the pine needles that saved her fall to the ground. The sloping nest was straightened out with green plant ties around the pot.
Mom rewards 15-day-old hummers with double helpings - Must-see
How do two rambunctious nestlings turn around in a small crowded nest? One can see how all the squirming and moving around is causing problems for the fragile nest. Watch Mother Hummie fly in several times to feed Sela and Sasi. Listen to the hum of mother's wings just as she arrives with dinner. What a much awaited event that sends one of the hummers flapping its wings with joy.
Day 15 June 26 - Building The Big Nest
Making a manmade or artificial nest for the hummingbirds
These were the materials used to create the The Big Nest, a safety nest, to keep the hummer chicks from falling off or jumping out of their nest again. The top portion of an empty plastic water bottle was used to create a funnel-shaped nest. This was then padded with cotton and wrapped with stretchable cotton gauze.
Cut two strips of stretchable cotton gauze long enough to wrap around the cut plastic bottle top. Cut two pieces of rolled cotton for padding.
Put one piece inside the "nest" for cushion, making sure to also pad the cut edge of the water bottle. Use double-sided tape to attach the cotton to the nest.
Punch two holes on opposite ends of the nest and attach two green plant ties. Tightly wrap the cotton gauze around the nest and secure with tape on the bottom and sides.
Turn the nest right side up and place a piece of the rolled cotton on top. Secure with double-sided tape to keep it in place.
Attach geranium leaves to the outside of the nest with double-sided tape. And then finish off with smears of spider webbing.
That evening The Big Nest was hung on a small shepherd's hook on the geranium pot with the hummer's nest just above it just to see what it would look like. Then I put it aside for fear that Hummie may balk at the new contraption and abandon her babies.
Day 16 June 27- Unwelcomed visitors - In your face
Mites have been crawling all over the faces of Sela and Sasi. It seemed like these where transported with the regurgitated food Hummie pumped into the babies' throats.
Mighty Mites! - An invasion
Look closely at the video and mites can be seen crawling on the beak and face of one of the hummers. Is it any wonder that the two babies kept squirming incessantly in the nest?
Day 16 Little sword swallowers - Double dipping
The two hungry hummers lift up their heads with their beaks wide open at the hum of Hummie's wings. Hummie continued to make her predictable feeding schedule every 10-15 minutes.
Day 17 June 28 - Sasi and Sela abandon nest! - The Big Nest to the rescue!
On the morning of June 28th, I was alerted by my husband that the two hummers did not appear to be visible in the nest. I rushed outside in my pajamas to find the two hummer chicks dangling outside their nest- Sela with one foot on the collapsed nest, and Sasi hanging on to dear life on the pine needle. This is the third time that the pine needle on the side of the nest had saved Sasi.
The Big Nest, which I had built as a "safey nest" the day before, was put to good use. This was suspended on a small shepherd's hook stuck to the flower pot, holding the hummer's nest for support. Little Sasi was put back in the nest while Sela, the older sibling rested on The Big Nest. However, perching all day long was a tad tiresome and stressful for Sela. She seemed to miss being in a small and secure nest that hugged her body.
Day 17 A baby's bootie becomes hummer's nest
This is when the little baby's bootie, which was one of my reject knitting projects, came into the picture. With a tapestry needle, I sewed around the knitted bootie and made it about 2 1/2 inches long, stuffed the inside with cotton and secured it to the Big Nest with green wired plant ties.
That evening, Sela slept in her own knitted bassinet.
Sela and Sasi have a new home - A Big Nest for little hummers
Sasi is constantly squirming and scratching while in the nest. Something seems to be terribly wrong and making the little hummer restless.
The Big Nest, an extreme makeover - Hummie welcomes the new accommodations for the hummers.
Like clockwork, the mother hummingbird arrived as expected to feed her brood.Sela looks very contented in her new knitted nest. Sasi appears to be making spasm-like motions every two seconds. Something is deadly wrong.
Day 18 June 29 - All is calm on the western front. - Or so it seems
Note how tiny the hummingbird's nest is compared to the knitted version. One cannot imagine how two growing hummers can fit comfortably in that small nest.
Day 18 Momma feeds babies in the man-made nest - Momma hummingbird approves of the new nest
Hummie, the dedicated and dutiful momma, continued to make her 15-minute trips back and forth the nest to feed her brood.
Day 19 June 30 - Sasi jumps to the pavement! - Mighty Mites!
On the morning of Day 19, Sasi was found almost lifeless on the ground. One of her wings appeared to be broken, tufts of feathers were coming loose, and she was breathing heavily. Inspite of having The Big Nest as a safety net, Sasi still fell to the ground. It was obvious that the mites drove Sasi to leave the nest.
This nest was cut from the stem it was built on as it could no longer hold its shape and was infested with mites. I put this inside a pastic bag and within a day the mites have reproduced like crazy. In the meantime, I had to scrounge around the house hoping to find something that would be suitable and comfortable for poor little Sasi.
Day 19 Little felted wool nest for Sasi - There is no time to waste--this is an emergency
Then I found a rectangular piece of felted wool in my knitting bag. This was meant to be a pocket for one of my felting projects, but got lost in the stash of yarn. A light bulb flashed in my head, and in no time, a new bassinet was fashioned for little Sasi. To finish it off, a thin layer of rolled cotton was stuffed inside the felted nest. This would mimic the plant down that the mother hummer had put inside the original nest.
Sasi in felted nest after her fall
The felted nest was a perfect fit for little Sasi who was only 2 1/8" long, from the tip of her stubby tail to her bill.
The felted wool nest will stretch a bit and still retain its shape. It will also keep the little hummer warm when the temperatures drop in the evening.
Sasi joins Sela - Hummers prefer being in close quarters
By morning, Sasi has moved over to snuggle with Sela. What a happy twosome.
Little Sasi could not lift her head to eat - Getting weaker
Most of Day 17 was a struggle for the injured hummer. Sasi made jerky motions, and tried to lift her head when momma came to feed, but to no avail.
Momma tries to feed injured Sasi - A very concerned mother
Sasi has not been very responsive during all the feeding times and Hummie is getting worried. She is too weak and is unable to lift her head and open her mouth to get some nourishment. Watch how the mother hummer made several attempts to get Sasi to eat by poking her with her long bill.
Day 20 July 1 - Big sister Sela takes care of little Sasi. - Lots of TLC
Little Sasi is still weak and slumped in her green nest. She has not eaten much but seemed to be more alert than the previous day.
The injured hummer, Sasi, has barely eaten for hours as she was unable to lift her head and open her mouth when momma came to feed. Older sibling, Sela finally poked Sasi with her bill and the little one finally opened her mouth and got her first good meal.
Little Sasi is slowly recuperating and had gained enough energy to stand up and perch. Tender loving care and encouragement from Sela and mother Hummie contributed to Sasi's recovery. Notice how the two hummers like to stay close to each other for comfort.
At the end of the day, Sasi decided she preferred snuggling with Sela in the baby's bootie nest.
Older sibling, Sela, prods injured Sasi to eat - Making a difference
This is the second day of recuperation for Sasi after she fell to the pavement. She continues to make jerky motions and is too weak to lift her head and open her mouth when mom comes to feed. Watch how the frustated and worried Hummie flies in three times to feed the chicks and only Sela gets to eat. Eventually, Sela had enough and refused to eat anymore. Instead she poked famished Sasi with her bill to get her to open her mouth to eat. Watch closely.
The two nestlings have adapted well to their luxurious bedroom suite and are not complaining. Hummie, the momma gratefully approves of the handcrafted nests from her human friends. She dutifully flew in every 15 minutes to feed the excited and growing babies.
The hum of Hummie's wings light up the faces of the hungry hummer chicks. It is always such a joy to see momma.
Sela and Sasi are displaying the iridescent green outer feathers which have broken out of their sheaths. These will eventually turn into green upperparts just like mom's. Their throats have the bronze-dotted pattern, rufous wash on the sides, underparts, and base of the tail feathers. The tails are rufous, black and green with white outer tips. The three white outer tips means Sela and Sasi are females.
Mali, the calico cat, wants to know what is all the commotion outside the bedroom window. She wants know why I spend so much time outside without her.
The stem above the nest would hit Sela's head every time she perched on one of the knitted nests. She did not seemed pleased and tried to bite it off.
I took a pair of scissors and snipped off the branch which made Sela happier and feeding less of a hassle.
Little Sasi loves her handmade green felted nest! - All organic
The felted nest is made of 70% wool and 30% soy yarn. And yes, soy as in tofu! The mattress pad is made of 100% rolled cotton. How green can that be.
Everything you want to know about felting
Make a hummer's nest.
Wool and soy yarn were used to felt and make Sasi's nest. This combination of wool and soy yarn also makes the finished product very smooth to the touch. Wool alone is a bit scratchy because of the scales in the fiber.
Watch Hummie feed the hungry nestlings! - Birds do smile!
Sela and Sasi keep each other warm
Separate nests do not prevent the two hummers from huddling together. Afterall, Sela and Sasi were used to cramped quarters the first two weeks of their lives.
Day 22 July 3 - Lounging around The Big Nest - Supersized romper room
The older sibling, Sela moved to Sasi's designer felted nest to check it out. It sure makes a nice perch for a fledgling.
Sela is the larger of the two hummers and measures approximately 2 1/2" from tail to bill. The ruler is at an angle and gives an idea of the size of the tiny hummer.
It is Day 22 and Sela is looking very much like a real hummingbird fledgling.
Most of the day, Sela groomed, scratched, arched and flapped her wings while perched on the green nest. Sasi, on the other hand, had moved down to the lower floor and found her favorite niche.
The sound of airplanes overhead would always interest Sela as she craned her neck to see what's up there.
The whirr of Hummie's wings would alert the two hummers to get ready for feeding time. Momma stopped feeding at about 8:30 in the evening.
That's about the time I would put away the camera.
In the evening, Sela would snuggle up to Sasi so they could keep each other warm. Their feathers make very good insulation and help retain their body heat.
Do Sela and Sasi measure up?
Allen's hummingbirds are the smallest of Northern American hummingbrids.
Rehearsing for the big day - Doing what hummers do best
Sela has been doing more wing exercises to get ready to fly out of the nest. Afterall, she has been nesting for 23 days in The Big Nest and her ETD (estimated time of departure) has been delayed.
Day 23 July 4 - Sela's Independence Day - Time to go
It is hard to believe how two hummer chicks could be so different in size when both were hatched on the same day. The first egg (Sela) was laid on May 23rd and the second egg (Sasi), two days later. The mother hummingbird ensured that both hummer chicks would have the same birthday.
Day 23 Sela looks for mom - It's time to go
Sela has spent all day preening, perching, pecking at bugs in the nest and waiting for momma Hummie to come and bring more food.
By now, the 23-day old Sasi has learned to perch just like a true fledgling.
Day 23 July 4 Sela gets her last supper from Momma
This is the last time I would see Sela after her pre-flight meal from momma. The doorbell rang and guests have arrived for the July 4th barbeque dinner. I left momentarily and 30 minutes later, my husband announced that Sela had fledged.
Day 23 Sasi is now all alone - Big sis has left the nest
Sela has left the nest and little Sasi looks so forlorn and lonely. This will be her first night all alone in The Big Nest.
Best Friends Forever - Up close and personal
This is one of my favorite videos of Sela and Sasi sitting side by side for the last time in The Big Nest. Sela is busy preening and cleaning her feathers. Watch Sela use her tiny claws to clean her long bill while Sasi quietly learns from Big Sis.
Switching places in the nest - Little hover crafts
Hummingbirds have weak feet and cannot walk or hop like other birds. Instead, they use their wings to propel and lift their bodies in order to move around. Watch Sela and Sasi trying to trade places in the Big Nest. This would never have been possible in their little hummer's nest.
Sela and Sasi grooming and preening their feathers - Getting flight gears in top condition
Before a hummingbird can fledge, its feathers must be fluffed, cleaned of dirt, parasites and oil. Using its long bill, the hummingbird will nibble along its feathers to oil and smooth out any separated feather barbs. This will restore the smooth surface of the feathers. It will use its tiny claws to scratch its head, chest, and back.
Watch Hummie gives Sela her going away meal - Time to go
In this video, the mother hummer feeds Sela and Sasi and then used her long bill to prod Sela to leave the nest.
Watch Sela flap her wings and clumsily attempt to fly, only to lose her balance and almost falling off The Big Nest. But like a real fledgling, she tried again and again until she disappeared into the blue yonder.
Perky Pet 209 "Our Best" Hummingbird Feeder, 30 oz capacity
Woodstream 202F Replacement Hummingbird Feeder Flower
Sweet Little Feeder for Hummingbirds
Hummingbird Feeder "HUM-fi" Miniature Window to Hand Hummingbird Feeder "Red Geranium"
Hummingbird nectar recipe
Hummingbird nectar is 1 part sugar to 4 parts of water.This needs to be boiled for 2 minutes to kill the mold spores in granulated sugar. Cool by putting some ice cubes without diluting the mixture too much. Or if you have time, cool the boiled mixture before pouring into clean hummingbird feeders. Hang your feeders away from direct sunlight to prevent the nectar from getting cloudy and spoiling.
Saying goodbye to little Sasi - All good things must come to an end.
This is me petting little Sasi on her last day in The Big Nest. It had been so wonderful playing host to nature's dazzling jewels.
Day 24 July 5 Bottom's Up - Born potty-trained
Hummingbirds are born potty-trained. This helps the mother hummer to keep the little nest clean. Watch Sasi back up to the edge of The Big Nest to poop.
Day 24 July 5 - Little Sasi takes off - Good things come to those who wait
Bright-eyed little Sasi is now a fledgling. She would spend most of the day preening, scratching, doing some wing exercise or just perching on the edge of The Big Nest. It is Day 24 and little Sasi has overstayed in The Big Nest.
Perching all day can be tiresome for Sasi's weak feet. It seemed like she was nodding off while waiting for mom to come feed her.
Day 24 July 5 Sasi gets here pre-flight meal
This is a still shot from the video showing Hummie giving Sasi her last meal. Mother then hovers and signals the little hummer to get going.
Day 24 July 5 Sasi lifts off
Sasi finally left the nest as I watched through the window while the video camera was rolling. I came out of the house and turned off the camera not knowing that the fledgling was perched on one of the branches. In the blink of an eye, Sasi was gone.
Day 24 - Video of Sasi fledging - Priceless moment to cherish
This video captured Sasi getting her last meal from mother and then was prodded by momma to leave the nest.
Listen to the whirr of Hummie's wings as she came back to the nest and hovered over the little fledgling. Watch Sasi obey Mother, make several attempts to flap those wings, and fly off. This is funny and heartwarming to watch.
Day 25 - The empty Big Nest
Day 29-35 Fledglings on the loose - Out on a limb
A week has gone by since Sela and Sasi flew away. I had no idea that the two fledglings were not too far away from the nest. With my trusty digital camera, I ventured into the grove of cypress trees by the pool in hopes that I would find them.
Day 29 - I spotted Sela, the older hummer perched on a cypress tree branch. She lingered for 5 minutes or so and flew away as soon as this picture was taken.
Day 32- Little Sasi was spotted sitting on her favorite perch calling for momma Hummie. Mother would fly in to feed the fledgling as she is still unable to forage for food on her own.
Like clockwork, Hummie would come to the cypress trees and feed little Sasi, morning, noon and late afternoon.
It seems like whenever I called Sasi's name, the little hummer would be there in a few minutes, perched on her favorite cypress limb. Hummingbirds are known to remember an individual's voice or place of interest.
Day 34- Sasi has been waiting for mom for an hour as the feedings became less frequent.
Day 35 - It has been 11 days since Sasi left the nest. By now, the fledgling has learned how to fly to higher branches. This was the last time I will ever see little Sasi again.
Mother continues to feed fledglings in the garden - By the cypress trees
The tripod was set on top of a 6 ft. ladder in order to take this video of Hummie feeding Sasi on her favorite cypress tree limb.
Sela, the elegant and caring sibling
In the Wild and in Your Yard
Sibley's Hummingbirds of North America
Creating a Hummingbird Garden
Dancers in the Garden
Sasi, the little fledgling
Check out these interesting links
The most complete website on hummingbirds
A Nature Store for Hummingbird Lovers
"A Home for Hummingbirds" story enjoyed in Europe
Many thanks to Brit Haagna, moderator of a German bird forum for translating the lens for various bird forums (Lithuanian, Polish, German, Spanish) and publishing the daily sequels for over a month until the happy ending on Christmas eve 2010.
Hummie is a tiny Allen's hummingbird mother whose boundless love and energy helped made this story have a happy ending.
Mother Hummie did not care what kind of nest her hummer babies grew up in, whether it was the one she built, or the one made by her human friends. Because in reality, home is where the heart is.
A salute to the beautiful Allen's hummingbird fledglings - Two of nature's dazzling jewels
And so ends this photo story and mini docudrama about the two hummer babies, Sela and Sasi, who spent one-third of their lives in The Big Nest. They may migrate to Santa Barbara in Southern California or make their winter homes South of the Border. What amazing stories will the fledglings be telling their friends about their adventure in The Big Nest?
This story will continue when one or both of them return next year.
A special treat for hummingbird lovers
Watch live webcam of Phoebe hummingbird nesting.
The hummers are starstruck.
This lens was nominated and bestowed the Purple Star Award. Thank you so much to the Squidoo Community.