Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Here’s the post I promised on Monday here that I would be sharing this week about a birding surprise.
After sunrise, and a little birding last Saturday Gordon, myself, and another friend went to breakfast then we headed over to another part of Don Edward’s Wildlife Refuge to check out the Anna’s Hummingbird on her nest.
I had heard from a good friend that she had had her brood of two. There were indeed two chicks in the nest, and their eyes were open!
They waited for Mama to return to the nest with food! They were so quiet. I thought they would be peeping constantly, but they didn’t. They look too big for the nest already don’t they. Mom must sleep on top of the nest with them smooched down into the nest to keep them warm at night.
This nest isn’t deep in the canopy either! It’s pretty exposed.
When the chicks are new their Mom will leave the nest for very short periods of time. Just a minute up to 15 minutes to find food. The chicks can’t keep warm without her so she doesn’t dare leave them alone long. Once they can regulate their own temperatures and keep warm she leaves the nest to forage for food for up to 20 minutes. This Mom would leave for 15-20 minutes, but return to do buzz or hover check several times too.
Here is the Female/Mom just returning from a food sortie.
Two little beaks hungry and not patient anymore.
Food at last!
She eats insects and drinks nectar which she regurgitates as a liquid mixture into the open mouths of the chicks. She’s on the go constantly hunting for food and feeding the chicks every 20 minutes! The male doesn’t help at all feeding or raising the chicks. If the male does come around the Female will chase him away b/c she finds him a threat to the chicks.
These chicks are already a couple of weeks old. At 3 weeks old they will look more like Hummingbirds, and will be testing out their wings more to get ready for flight. Once they’re flying the Female will show them how to catch bugs, and drink nectar, and within a few days of that the chicks will fly away as adults never to return to the nest.
I can’t tell you how amazing this was to watch and photograph! It was gift! It’s so moving, and beautiful watching her feed the chicks and knowing how dedicated she is, and how tired she must be. These images were made on March 18, 2017
I dropped by Thursday afternoon (3/23) to see them. They were still in the nest with Mama feeding them every 20 minutes. There was quite a crowd there, and I had #1 Grandson with me. He got a kick out seeing the chicks too. I didn’t break out my camera today. I was holding #1 in my arms so he could see them, but I’m hoping I can get back over once more before they fly from the nest which may be as early as a week and a half away.
For more information about Hummingbird chicks you can visit http://www.worldofhummingbirds.com/baby.php
Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2017
Have a wonderful week-end everyone!
More to come…