Friday, July 04, 2014


For the first time, that I know of, I have a hummingbird nesting in my yard. The nest is in my Bradford Pear Tree and as close to the house side as she could make it. I can look up at the bottom of the nest which is about 6 feet up. My husband can almost look into it. The female is the only one that takes care of the chicks and this one is very shy when I am around the nest. The 2 chicks were probably a week old when I first realized they had hatched. I could just see the tops of their heads and their bills. This is a good mama bird who put the nest so that it is sheltered by 2 large leaves so the babies have lots of shade when she is out getting food for her chicks. This tree has lots of leaves and there is a sparrow nest in the center of the tree that I can just barely make out since it is so covered with leaves. I have always seen a few hummers around here but never put out feeders as I figured that the sugar water would get so hot during our 90 to 100 degree days that the little birds might scald their selves. Plus we have lots of ants and bees that would get into the feeders. But with the nest I went and bought 2 small feeders. It only took about 2 days for the hummers to find them. I don't fill them full and replace it at least once a day. I tested some 'hot' sugar water on a 100 degree day at the hottest part of the day and was surprised it wasn't but about body temperature on my fingers. I don't use the commercial food for the feeders. I use 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of water. I let it come to a boil for 1 minute then cool. You can half this but it keeps well in the refrigerator.  I do have some bees around the feeders but no ants have found them. I have noticed that the flies flock to where the feeders drip out sugar water when they swing in the wind. I hung them with some metal curtain hooks I had as a temporary thing when I first did them but it has worked so well I have continued to use them. The curtain hooks are on the string that came attached to the feeder. The 'hook' on the curtain hook is about an inch wide and fits on small tree branches. Perfect. Sad to say one of the chicks died a few days ago for a reason that only Mother Nature knows of. I found it hanging on the side of the nest but couldn't see any injury to it so I disposed of it. I wondered at first if something had happened to mama or she had abandoned them. But soon saw her feeding the one that was left. I did call the Wildlife Rescue Center to get their advise and to see what their hours were for dropping off orphans and was glad I didn't have to take the baby to them. I raised a baby robin when I was a teenager but knew that with 4 cats in the house there was no way I could raise the hummer. Last night I was scared for the hummers and the nest of 3 flycatcher chicks we have in another tree when we got the worse, (or maybe best considering our drought) wind and rain storm we have had in years. We got and inch of rain in a half an hour just at dark. I did go out afterward with a flashlight and checked for baby birds near their trees and was glad I didn't see any. I didn't actually look in the nest as I didn't want to disturb mama. And, yes, this morning I saw mama, and the baby and all the flycatcher chicks. It is amazing how they can protect their chicks in a storm like that. I a sure the flycatcher parents were drenched as they don't have the leaf shelter that the hummers have. Here are photos if the baby on the nest and the parent at the feeder. And, no, I am not sure what kind of hummers they are. I think they may be the Broadtailed hummingbird from the photos I looked at on a site on New Mexico hummers. If not they are the rufous hummingbird.

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