Monday, July 13, 2009

The Birth of a Hummingbird

I love hummingbirds and have written two or three posts featuring pictures of the ones that come to our feeder. The more I watch them and photograph them, the more "attached" to them I become. They have their own little personalities and "rituals" they go through when they come to the feeder.

Today I'd like to share the amazing and truly awe-inspiring story of "The Birth of Two Hummingbirds."

The only information I could find regarding the person who was blessed with experiencing the birth and capturing it with her camera (over a period of 24 days from birth to flight) is this link, and the following note at the bottom of her pictures:

"These photos were captured by a Panasonic DMC FZ20 digital camera. Its wonderful 12x zoom lens managed to reach into that jungle and retrieve these images without creating too much stress for Mom and the babies." (Photos were edited with a computer) All photos by Vel [Verle33, a.k.a. Vel].

I wish I knew more about her so I could personally thank her for sharing her "once in a lifetime" experience of watching "the birth of two hummingbirds." Here is her story and extraordinary photographs:

Hummer Nest 2005. A tiny bird on a tiny nest. She is holding her head high -- as well she should!

February 8, 2005: At a chance moment, while she goes for a snack -- we can take a peek at what she has there. Wow! Two tiny pearl-white eggs, all of 13 mm (1/2") long!

One week later (February 14th), we sneak another peek. Firstborn!

After the struggle to break out of his tiny shell, it appears he is just plumb tuckered out! A few hours later, our new arrival has recovered and is thinking -- "How about something to eat!"

"MOM!"

February 21, 2005: Another visit with the Hummer family. Little Mother is there protecting the nest from today's rain showers.

Sooner or later she must leave to renew her energy reserve. And this is the progress report:

Yes, let us look a little closer ...

February 25th: Just checking. They're getting fuzzie ...

A closer view -- their stubby little beaks are growing.

Traces of the Allen's breed color are bursting from those tiny pin-feathers ...

March 1st: Growing, and gaining more color ...

March 4th: Rain has been falling, but it appears that Mom has kept the babes safe and dry ...

Sleepy time ...

Won't be long now!

March 7th: At the ripe old age of 21 days, the brave one has left the nest. He is likely in that tangle of vines and poison oak, but I couldn't locate him. I could hear Mom scolding me, though!

March 9th, 2005: Feel that empty feeling? Yes, they've both left the nest -- Happy Landings to them!

For a size comparison: A toothpick is 2-1/2" long, a penny is 3/4" in diameter.

Have you ever seen a hummingbird nest? I'd love to see the babies after they leave the nest, too. Can you imagine!

11 comments:

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Janie, this is amazing! We have hummingbirds at the lake, but we've never seen a nest.

A Touch of Country said...

oh my...what a beautiful peak into the birth of sweet little hummingbirds. I can't believe you actually got to capture it all on camera. The size of the nest is so tiny and no I've never seen one before. Wow!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

This is FABULOUS, Janie! I cannot believe how neat this is and how t-tiny that nest is!!!

XO,

Sheila :-)

Stacey said...

Wow! I'm so glad the penny and toothpick were in the last picture for size comparison. Isn't it just a miracle? Thanks for sharing this today!

D said...

That was such an interesting, fun post. I can't believe how tiny the nest is. I was looking at the lining and wondering what she used. I've heard if you throw out you dryer lint, bird will use it to line their nests.
D

midnight macaroons said...

Wow, what an incredible post. The pictures were absolutely amazing of the baby hummingbird. I enjoy stopping by your blog because your pictures are out of this world. I love the South and the photos you take are stunning. You are truly blessed with an artistic eye to take so many beautiful shots.

Beth at Aunties said...

My goodness, they are so tiny and in a super tiny little soft nest. The penny was so good at showing us the actual size.
I enjoyed this very much and adore the hummingbirds who frequent our feeder.

Thhanks once again for showing some amazing pictures. She did a great job in capturing the process for us!

Cottage Rose said...

Hello Janie; What a beautiful post, she took such amazing photos of the hatching possess. I have never seen a humming bird nest, until now, wow they are tiny.. the babies were just to cute. Thanks for sharing..

Hugs;
Alaura

Karen at Nittany Inspirations said...

I loved the post. Thank you for sharing the photos of the babies. Isn't the internet wonderful. We get to experience things we normally would never see.

Angie said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing this!

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Janie,
These photos are amazing! Thanks for sharing.
:) Diane