Here’s the easy way to see an active hummingbird nest: in the Hummingbird Aviary at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. At least, it is easy if you are in Arizona or will be coming through in the spring. The Museum could call its hummingbird exhibit “the Hummingbird Nursery” for these few spring months.
This was not the only active nest in the Hummingbird Aviary. There are other nests about, including a Costa’s Hummingbird nest near the entrance with at least one baby in it. With nests here and there in the Aviary, it is not always clear if a nest is active. The nest pictured below has a few droppings on the outside, which suggests that there may be chicks in it, hidden below the nest’s rim.
Anna’s Hummingbird nest
This Anna’s Hummingbird nest still had one chick in the nest last week. I did not see it exercising its wings when I was there – perhaps it was too young, perhaps it was the wrong time of the day. But I was lucky enough to catch one feeding session.
It is an amazing experience to be so close to an active nest in the Hummingbird Aviary. The mothers are alert but basically unafraid. Nests can be within several feet of the paths. Visitors can watch the mothers and the babies openly. It is delightful to see them in action.
This is an unparalleled opportunity to see hummingbird babies and mothers up very close. If you are a hummingbird fan, visit or take a look at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum website or Facebook page.
If you go to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, plan an extra time for the Hummingbird Aviary. It is close to the museum entrance, in the Pollination exhibit area. The Aviary has many benches, the pathways are accessible, and the exhibit is not huge, all things that make for great viewing. But there may be many other visitors, so be prepared to be patient. And while it may not always be possible to get clear photos (depending on distance to the nest, plants, and your camera), being in the Aviary is a wonderful experience.