At first I didn’t know what I was seeing, I thought it was some sort of web or something; then I noticed the tiny hummingbird busily working on her nest. The nest-building took about two weeks to complete. Tinkerbelle (the name she was given) worked diligently back and forth bringing bits of spider webs and down, placing them around and inside the cone-shaped nest; she would then get inside her creation and appear to be stomping down the nesting material to ensure a soft home for her babies.
On July 14th she laid her first egg. I had been watching her in the nest that morning and she didn’t appear to be building anymore but she did look like she was in some sort of distress – bird labor, I was guessing.
So Tinkerbelle sat on her nest all the time now, with the only exception being when she was feeding. Like a good Guardian, I set out five hummingbird feeders so Tinkerbelle wouldn’t have to go too far to feed. On July 16th she laid her second egg. Just as a point of reference, the eggs are smaller than a tic-tac.
Tinkerbelle sat day and night for the next 2 weeks, only leaving to feed. On July 29th, I noticed her continually flying around another hanging basket on the patio that housed a Momma Dove and her 2 chicks. I figured she was protecting her own baby. When she left to feed, I snapped this picture – Baby Number One, known to me as Twiddle-de-Dee had been born, probably the day before.
On July 31st the second egg hatched, I named this chick Twiddle-de-Girlie. I saw half of the egg on the patio floor – when Tinkerbelle left to get food for the chicks I snapped these pictures. Check out the size of the egg compared to the dime I laid on the floor next to the egg. And see the newly hatched chick inside the nest, next to her 2 day old brother, Twiddle-de-Dee. All I can say is, totally awesome! – To be able to be this close to nature is truly a gift from God!
For one more week, Tinkerbelle sat on the nest protecting her babies. She occasionally darted around the baby doves and baby mockingbirds on the ground protecting her offspring. She constantly left and then returned to feed
the chicks. Unfortunately, I was never able to get a picture of her feeding them but you can see their little beaks sticking up waiting for her return with nourishment.
Then around August 10th or so I noticed that she was leaving the nest alone at night and not sitting on the nest during the day. The nest was getting crowded; the babies were growing – there wasn’t any room for Tinkerbelle.
On Wednesday, August 17th, Twiddle-de-Dee flew from the nest. I was standing on the patio at the exact moment he took flight. What a beautiful sight! Youth taking wing! A cycle of life! How precious and I was so lucky to be able to witness this phenomenon.
On Thursday night, we had a particularly violent monsoon storm. I was so afraid the wind was going to blow Twiddle-de-Girlie out of her nest. I stood in the gusting wind holding the plant still while the winds whipped and the lightning flashed, until I realized that I was putting myself in danger, standing under a tree in an electrical storm holding a potted plant in a wire mesh holder still so it wouldn’t sway in the wind. Thankfully, the chick remained in the nest
and the winds calmed down.
So now the nest is empty! And once again, I am feeling the effects of the empty nest, but thankful for the opportunity to witness such a wonderful event. Life is
truly good and I am truly blessed!