Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Location, Location, Location

A female hummingbird has built her little nest on our back patio.

She placed it on top of one of our hummingbird feeders, which is tucked up high under the eave of our patio cover.

We obviously won't be filling that feeder for a while...

The nest is right outside our bedroom window.

We took some pics when she had her back to us.

She finished her nest over the weekend - bringing bits of spiderweb and fluff, and carefully placing each beakful inside. She then shaped it by turning in circles inside the nest.

A few days later when she was off-nest, we very quickly checked the nest with a mirror held overhead and saw there were 2 tiny little eggs inside.

We decided to set up our field scope inside the house, in our kitchen. Lately we have been watching her through the opposite window on the other end of the patio.

At first we thought this was a strange place to build a nest.
Besides the obvious (on top of a hummingbird feeder? Really?) it is a high traffic area that we walk past a couple times each day. Since we noticed her there, we have been walking all the way around on the far side of the pool, to give her some space.

But she actually made a pretty smart choice.
-- The nest is protected on 2 sides by nearby walls, and above by the roof.
-- She is sheltered from the elements. She stayed dry during the last rain. And after the rainstorm came through, we had some gusty winds that gave her a bit of a ride on the hanging feeder. But nothing like it would have been on an unprotected tree branch.
-- It is close to a food source. There is another hummingbird feeder about 15 feet away. She allows other hummers in the yard to use it, but when she comes over to feed she is pretty territorial.
-- She has a good view of both the hummingbird feeder and her favorite off-nest perches.
-- It gets morning sun, but is protected from the afternoon sun.
-- The walls and roof hold residual heat, to keep her a little warmer at night.

It will be interesting to watch our smarty-pants hummer as she raises her babies.

"The woods hold not such another Gem
as the nest of a hummingbird.
The finding of one is an event."

~ John Burroughs (1837-1921), American nature essayist and naturalist

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