since we have lived here, we have had all kinds of critters come into our yard. some tried to live here permanently (skunks, rabbits, paco), some just came here to hunt (roadrunners, hawks, owls) and others were just passing through (guinea hens, random dogs, sandhill cranes, monarch butterflies). but the one that tops them all on the fascination and coolness charts has got to be this hummingbird nest we discovered a couple of weeks ago:
the hummingbird nest
first, rich thought it was a giant spider's egg sac and was going to smush it; he poked it and something squeaked at him and, thankfully, he left it alone. we got a giant ladder, climbed up, and found the hummingbird babies:
july 4--two little scraggly babies, and we had no idea what they were at first
it looks like the mother gathered a bunch of cotton from our cottonwood trees, made a nest out of that, then wrapped it with spiderwebs. then, she either stuck stuff to the outside or just let stuff get stuck to the outside to camouflage the nest. she built the nest about 9 feet up, on a bicycle hook attached to the ceiling of our portico. these babies must be less than a week old--we were in washington when this was being built, so i'm not really sure. they are definitely new to the world. and they are TINY.
so every day (except two) for the next two weeks i climbed up the ladder and took pictures of them. it was remarkable. i let gus and all his friends go up and look at them; i put sophie on the ladder for her to see them as well. they are incredible and i feel so honored that a hummingbird picked our house to make its nest. the really amazing thing is that this is the only time in their lives when they will hold still from now on. very cool. enjoy!
july 5--they've moved
july 6--whenever i got too close to them, they'd open their beaks for food
july 7--just hanging out and growing
july 8--still hanging out and growing
july 9--they moved, again
july 9--pictured from below, all we can see is their little beaks sticking out of the nest
july 11--they really start to look like viable birds at this point
july 13--synchronized nesting
july 14--getting vocal
july 14--some perspective on just how little these guys are (that is gus' bike behind them)
july 15--the little male is just about to leave the nest
july 15--and a few hours later, he does! he is right in the center of this image, and he is even smaller than the cottonwood leaves
july 15--here is a blurry close up of the little male
july 16--amazingly, even though he flew away the evening before, he came back for his sister the next day
july 17--the inside of the empty nest!