Sunday, July 29, 2007

Danger - Nature at Work

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Update on the Broad-tailed Hummingbird, who has taken up nesting outside my office window since I posted July 16, 2007, about her.

She incubated for at least 15 days.

News Flash!

Hatchling(s). After staring this post today, there was a marked change in the Hummingbird’s behavior. This afternoon she left the nest and upon retuning she perched herself on the side of the nest and bent over it with her beak deep in the nest. It must be feeding time.

She had been sitting on the nest for 10-12 minutes at a time then will fly off and was gone about a minute to 90 seconds. She has established two approach patterns to the nest she seldom approaches from the rear; her preferred move is to cross between my vantage point and the nest from right to left in a right hand pattern. She makes a right turn and comes to a hover, slightly below the nest she then elevates and moves forward in a fluid move and quickly folds her wings as she settles into the nest.

The bird has attracted some curiosity from other birds and a couple of young squirrels. Several Mourning Dove, who live in this small row of trees, made their first ever appearance in front of my window to check out the nest. Two female Broad-tailed Hummingbirds dropped by and sat on a branch about six-feet away. The nesting bird sat stoically on the egg(s). I can’t see the eggs so I don’t know exactly how many she is sitting on.

She became agitated and excited when one of two young squirrels showed an interest in the nest. The female dive-bombed the squirrel; who ducked its head.

I am not actively intervening in this display of nature. However, the squirrels, upon seeing me try to photograph them moved on.

The hatchlings will be blind and without feathers and will take 21-26 days to fledge.