Saturday, July 5, 2008

Born on the Fourth of July

First, is the wind.
Then, follows the rain.
So has been the pattern of these past two weeks.

A furious wind that is heard before it is seen.
And leaves a visible mark in downed trees and branches scattered about.

I worry about the little hummingbird nesting with us.
And imagine what it must feel like to ride the branches as they sway in the storms.
From the shelter of my house I watch her, atop her nest at the end of a long, narrow maple branch. Her dark green back against the light green lichens, all I can see.
Secured by spiderweb tethers—it is anchored tightly.

Up and down she rides, never leaving them.
Two small white eggs, protected from the storm.
Still, I worry.

All is well.
They are here.
Two tiny lives begin.

Egg #1 hatched 7/04/08

Egg #2 hatched 7/05/08

I did not expect the first chick to be so pink--the Cornell web site describes their condition at hatching as, "Helpless, naked and black."
By day 2, it has darkened.
I must have snapped this shot as soon as it was out of the shell!

This morning, I found the paper-thin shell on the lawn.
Mama has been tidying up.

Progress of this family will be regularly posted to
"A Bird's Life."

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Pam said...

What wonderful photos.When I read about the little nesting family "riding the branches as they sway in the storm" it bought back wonderful memories of climbing very high trees when I was young, holding on tight to creaking and groaning branches while the wind blew strands of hair across our face. Magical.

KGMom said...

Nina--WOW. Now you have baby hummingbirds right in your tree. Oh my.
I am speechless.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This is so exciting. I hope the little ones are able to grow up. Can't wait to see more.

Isn't that egg tiny. Wow.

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Marvelous! I'd been wondering about the hummingbirds. Thanks for the update! My spirits are much uplifted by this news.

Rurality said...

Whoa. So incredibly tiny!

Island Rambles Blog said...

I cannot believe that you got such a good shot of the baby hummers Nina!!!! WOWzers...the nest must be low, we tried and tried to get such a shot for many years...just little dots for the have no idea how small they are unless you compare like with the coin...excellent!!!

Deb said...

Those photos are absolutely amazing. Thanks for sharing!

KatDoc said...

Wow, Nina - terrific photos! I know I must have hummingbirds breeding here, but have never been able to find the nests. Can't wait to watch these babies grow.


cestoady said...

What an extraordinary set of photos that have caught the very days that these tiny bits of birdom have come into this world ! I ,and probably most bird watchers,professional and amateurs alike, have never seen such a wondrous event.

Pictures of just -hatched hummers must be so rare -- as is the ever outstanding (!!!) quality of this blog.

bobbie said...

Thank you, Nina. These photos are so precious, as are the baby birds. So beautiful.Thank you for finding them and for photographing them, and for your wonderful words accompanying them.

Old Wom Tigley said...

It dose not get much better than this Nina, the egg shell is amazing.. as all the things in nature are if only we take the time... not to look.. but to SEE.


Anonymous said...

I will certainly be peeking in to see the progress with the birds.

NCmountainwoman said...

Breath-taking photographs. I suppose hummingbirds know their little nests must take a lot of punishment from wind and rain.

It will be exciting to continue to follow their progress.

Mary said...

Oh, my gosh... what a wonderful post! They are so tiny! The nest is beautiful! You are so fortunate to see this! I've had not had any hummers this summer except a quick fly-by or two. I don't know why, but I really miss them! I can't imagine seeing this wonderful little miracle. I can't wait to see the little ones as they grow!

Kerri said...

The miracle of life is amazing!
Thank you for sharing these with us!

Dagny said...

How lucky you are to be able to observe the hummingbirds that closely. What an amazing experience.

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Q said...

Dear Nina,
So very wonderful!!!
How exciting. I do not know how you managed to get up so close to the nest but I am glad you were able to. Your pictures are incredible. Watching the Hummingbirds through your lens is the next best thing to being there. Thank you!

zhakee said...

Sweet babies! Your descriptions of the wind blowing the trees brings to mind a John Muir story in the book "The Mountains of California" where he describes climbing up a fir tree and swaying with the tree during a storm, back and forth, with the tree moving a lot!