Our little Allen's hummingbird, DR-1, was a NestWatch Highlight for February. It was one of the first reported fledglings of any species for 2010. The record of its hatching and successful fledging will provide scientists with important data regarding climate change and bird reproduction. More on NestWatch
As of March 8, 2010 we have 3 active Allen's hummingbird nests in the yard.
No one is better at recycling than a female hummingbird. This Allen's hummingbird's nest is finished and waiting for its builder to return and lay her two eggs. You can see that it has bits of plant matter and feathers woven together with spider web. The fuzzy white material appears to be polyfiber stuffing that the little hummingbird probably harvested from someone's patio furniture. She may have reused some materials from last year's nest. Because building materials are valuable resources, it is best to leave an old nest in place. Either the same bird or others will usually reuse the nesting materials.
Some Allen's nests, like the one in the video below, are camouflaged with chips of white paint that the female gently lifts off of the wood trim around our patio. Why they decorate their nests with the paint chips, I'm not sure. It may be a substitute for lichen and help make the nest water resistant.
Watch Allen's hummingbird "A" on her first nest of the season in the video below. First egg laid March 1st, second egg laid March 3rd.