Monday, April 16, 2007

Hummingbird Soap Opera

Well, there is no doubt about it. Having the scrub jay frequenting the yard made our little female Allen's hummingbird reevaluate the nest she created on top of her mother's deserted nest from last year. (See the nest)

She stayed away and abandoned the tiny lone egg. When I checked the nest late Tuesday night, there was no mother incubating and the cool temperatures were too much for the egg to survive.

When I checked the nest Wednesday morning, the egg was gone and the side of the nest was slightly torn–probably by a bird larger than a hummingbird sitting on the edge.

Some nests are made in unsuccessful locations. This was the second batch of eggs lost in this one specific nest site.

The fascinating thing to me is this tiny hummingbird with a brain the size of this "O" realized she had made an untimely choice. Rather than fight against brutal odds, she abandoned her hard work rebuilding the nest and the resources committed to the egg. She let it go.

Then she disappeared for three days. Where did she go?

I think she went off to mate again. She's back now and fervently trying to drive off her last batch of youngsters. She's also building a new nest somewhere in the holly cherry shrubs. I haven't spotted it yet. This time she is being very secretive.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I share your sorrow at the loss of the next generation of hummers.

We just lost two eggs, which disappeared wholesale from our Allens' nest three days after she began to incubate them. I was looking for information about who/what might have spirited them away when I found your wonderful site. Fingers crossed that our hummer will build another nest and lay some more eggs!

I look forward to reading more of your blog in the future.