Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Baby Hummingbird in Winter

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I thought my hummingbirds were building nests despite how early it was in the season. Early Signs of Spring

Today I found one of the well-hidden nests. It is about 12 ft. off the ground, but just under one of our windows. The chick appears to be about 10 days old, which would have the first egg laid around January 25th. (There may be a second chick, under the larger one.)

The timing of bird nesting is helping to define the impacts of global climate change. In order to help scientists have a greater understanding of large-scale changes in bird nesting behavior, I participate in NestWatch.

This citizen science project invites everyone to report the when, where, success or failure of bird nests across the country.
  • Have you seen a bird building a nest in your yard?
  • Is there a bird nest that you see on a walk?
  • Do you have bird houses in your yard? Are they used or left empty?
All of this is important to science. I've been recording data on the Allen's hummingbirds nesting in my yard since 2007. There is very little data on the nesting behavior and trends of these regional birds.

Last season, a warm spell in January prompted early nesting resulting in 3 failed nests. The timing of later nests was thrown off and fewer successful offspring were produced.

Another winter storm is headed our way this Friday and Saturday. Hopefully, this early chick will survive its untimely hatching. Whatever happens, we'll be watching and reporting it to NestWatch.


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