Friday, November 22, 2013

Flashback Friday | Mina the Chandelier Hummingbird

Last year in the springtime, we had a tiny visitor to the backyard:  a hummingbird who was determined to make her nest in one of the old wrought-iron chandeliers on our backyard patio.


I think she was one of the pair of hummingbirds who, the year prior, fledged too early as I watched;  she wasn't able to fly back to her nest so I returned her and her sibling... which would explain her comfort level with our backyard.


Despite the old wives' tale to the contrary, if you find a nestling on the ground who has fledged before they are able to fly, you may safely return it to its nest.  The mother will not reject the nesting or be able to "smell your scent" on it because with the exception of condors and other scavenger birds, birds generally have a terrible sense of smell!  They often make up for this with a superior sense of sight.

No amount of our young children playing noisily outside, nor the fact that her nest-making materials failed to stick correctly to the metal fixture, would deter her.



She gave up on one chandelier and then settled on the other, and after an extraordinary amount of work, she completed her nest... though to be honest it was never the thick, insulated kind of work we've seen by her kind in surrounding trees.  I blame the iron base for this as tree branches adhere much more readily to the birds' nest-building materials.


Early on in the nest-building process, she laid an egg prematurely and it dropped, shattering on the table below.  Observe how tiny it is compared to a dime!


But she soon tried again and with days of that, there were two tiny tic tac-sized eggs!


She was a wonderful mother-in-the-making and a great sitter.  But there was one very long afternoon that bled into dusk when she was gone and coincidentally, the weather had turned cold that day.  I worried about where she was, and was so relieved when she returned, just before nightfall.


But the eggs failed to hatch despite the fact that she sat on them for more than a week past when they were due to hatch.  I still blame the cold of that one day when she was gone so long - for hours - and the iron chandelier she built the nest on for the failure of those eggs.

Still, she was such a delight to witness when she was here.


Happy Friday and thanks for looking!
xo

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