Hummer Update

By Eilene Lyon

My last post, about the black-chinned hummingbird nest under our deck, proved quite popular! Therefore I must offer an update and a few more photos. Last week, they were covered in pinfeathers and had barely begun opening their eyes.

Through the week, I spied on the nestlings as they stretched and exercised their wings. Their feathers grew and they began looking much like adults. Mama would show up with food and ram her crazy-long bill down their throats. How she avoids puncturing their guts, I don’t know.

I missed my fledge-date guess by one day. They left the nest Monday, rather than Sunday. On Sunday, one of the young began perching on the edge of the nest (as seen below) rather than lying on top of it. Both were grooming themselves furiously.

Someone asked me about comparative size of the nest, and I’d say “golf ball” is a good approximation.

The first one to leave perched for a while on the nearby light wiring, but I couldn’t get a good photo. The next time I looked–gone. Presumably with mama bird.

We left for a few hours and by the time we got back, the second bird had fledged. Bye bye, birdies!!

P.S. Now I can go clean up the mess on the patio furniture and office window–oh boy!

30 thoughts on “Hummer Update

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  1. Fantastic! I love every minute of your careful and watchful eyes on the tiny twins. Thank you so much for posting. This is a delight in my life.

    BTW I found you via Barbara’s blog. I hope that she sees it too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for updating us on those babies Eilene. It’s amazing how Mom’s bill does not puncture them. How in the world does she accomplish feeding them? I’m surprised they fledged so quickly. How remarkable you got to witness this sight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think she must collect a ton of insects and regurgitates them for the babes. You’ve probably watched nature programs with penguins doing this with fish. Very similar. It was a pleasure to watch it all happen, for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve known that animals regurgitate food for their young, but I didn’t know that about penguins with fish and I was a big fan of the “Animal Kingdom” and “National Geographic” shows growing up, plus we subscribed to “National Geographic” for years. You’re always teaching me something Eilene – thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. How long from when they hatched until they fledged? We have a nest in our chimney flue and the babies are chirping. We just moved in and don’t want to disturb the nest—but once they are gone, we need to get it cleaned out and capped!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I checked my breeding bird atlas, but apparently there is very little data on swifts regarding duration of phases. In other words, they are extremely difficult to observe (as you have found). Black swifts are thought to have a nestling phase which lasts 48 days on average.

        Liked by 1 person

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