Each spring, we keep an eye out for hummingbird nests at the Desert Botanical Garden. The Garden has created a haven for our local hummingbirds, with its variety of plants, cover, and the availability of water. It is a perfect place for hummingbirds to nest. Here are some nests from spring 2014.
This Anna’s Hummingbird put her nest directly over a busy walking path near the center of the Garden. Many Garden visitors were lucky enough to notice the nest overhead and paused briefly to watch. Here are a series of pictures taken over several weeks.
Note: The photos in this post were taken with a super telephoto lens (500mm).
Here the mother perched on an agave leaf, watching. She was often visible hunting for insects or feeding from flowers. Or she could be seen perching nearby, watching the nest and the general area.
Amidst the tangled twigs of a Palo Verde tree, the mother sat on the edge of the nest with one of the baby hummingbirds visible.
Hummingbirds typically lay two eggs. The two chicks (or babies) often hatch a day or so apart. The first chick may leave the nest a day or more before the second one does. In this photo, the mother feeds her last baby in the nest. It was practicing flapping its wings on this day and looked ready to leave.
Her other chick – now a fledgling – was up in the branches above the nest. The fledglings are not immediately on their own once they leave the nest. A mother Anna’s Hummingbird will come back to feed her fledglings for some period of time. The mother came and fed this fledgling around the same time she fed the chick still in the nest.
The next time I came through, the nest was empty.
We saw a couple of other hummingbird nests at the Desert Botanical Garden that spring. We heard of even more. Hummingbird nests are usually hard to see for many reasons: tiny size, location, foliage.
Here are pictures of two other hummingbird nests at the Desert Botanical Garden, just for fun.
Though not a native tree, hummingbirds make good use of Eucalyptus.
The tangled twigs of the Palo Verde tree make a good, small enclosure for a hummingbird nest.
Special thanks to the Garden staff and volunteers for watching out for the hummingbird families while still allowing us to share in the wonder.