Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hummingbird Status Report

The mother hummingbird must now have hatchlings in the nest but she's keeping them hidden. She leaves the nest for several minutes at a time and then, upon returning, stands on the side of the nest dipping her beak down below where we can see. She is a Ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

These shots were taken from our second floor bathroom window and have to be shot through glass. I have a 12x optical zoom on the camera but I've pushed it a little further - to 30x - with a digital zoom. The picture could be sharper, I suppose, but considering our ringside seat, I'm pretty happy with the view we're getting.

The mother bird is finally varying her seating position and I'm being favored with more than rear shots. I have been lucky that the maple hasn't covered my view with leaves. Only when it is raining and the leaves are heavy do I lose my best view.

The nest itself is exquisite, a fine down interior (looks like dandylion seeds) and the outside thick with lichens. I see her adjust the exterior work with her beak, as though she's not quite happy yet with her skill level.