I am happy to announce, that after years of trying, I was finally successful in hosting a viable hummingbird nest in my yard. At first, I thought it was an Anna's hummingbird, but then upon closer inspection and observation I found the female was a Rufous hummingbird, native to Southern California.
|not zoomed in|
The nest was in a low hanging branch, about 8 feet off the ground, and less than 15 feet from my hot tub. I noticed it one evening while enjoying an adult beverage during a hot tub soak before dusk. I couldn't figure out at first, why there was a female hummingbird nervously watching me soak, and then sheepishly ducking into the dense tree foliage and not re-emerging. She had already built the nest, out of spider webs and bits of plant matter. I was delighted to see her sitting in the nest when I got out of the hot tub. She sat there each night, and intermittently through the day between feedings, for the 16 day incubation period. When the chicks hatched, I was out of town, but upon my return, I was amazed to see two young hummingbird chicks As Big As Their Mother, sitting motionlessly in the nest, waiting for mom to return.
|Mama Rufous hummingbird trying to be a decoy "Don't Look to the left, there's no nest there!"|
Dr Desert Flower and I were heading out of the house in late April, when I saw a very small and young Rufous female sitting on our driveway in the sun. I was concerned that some predator would come and devour the resting hummingbird, so I grabbed a post-card sized piece of paper, and gently slid it under the little female, to pick her up and place her on a higher branch of a palm about 5 feet above the driveway. About 6 inches above the driveway, she got enough energy to fly away on her own, off the paper, and perched on a deciduous tree about 20 feet in the air. I was glad that she was sticking around the house where she had just fledged.
I hope she continues to visit the 4 feeders I have out, and next mating season she and her sister and mom can each build nests of their own in the foliage around my yard.