Jessica Holden Photography » My Photo Journal

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My Poor Hummingbirds…

Last year, a HUGE highlight of my summer was the baby hummingbirds that I discovered in a nest just a couple of feet outside my dining room window:

But I only noticed them after they were this big, and we were on vacation when they learned to fly and they were gone by the time we got home… I was so disappointed to have missed so much!

So this year, I was ecstatic when I discovered that Mama (or was it one of her babies?) had built a new nest, right on top of the old one!

I was a little worried as it’s been unseasonably cold here–it’s still only in the 70s and it was nearly mid-June, and we have had some huge storms–we’re even running the heater on occasion still–bizarre!! I did some research, and was thinking the babies should have hatched by now. Every day I would talk to the Mama, and we were all very careful not to overly frighten her. I waited until she left the nest to take this of her “babies”:

But on Emily’s last day of school, when I was already a bit melancholy over the fact that yet another year had slipped by so very quickly, I discovered that the nest had been destroyed. In the morning Mama was fine and greeted me with her usual suspicious look as I opened the curtains, and then I went to pick Emily up from school and run a quick errand. When I got back, I was going to take another photo (I’ve been trying to document them every other day), but instead I saw the top portion of the nest on the ground and the middle half flipped to the side, and not a trace of Mama or her eggs. Emily and I (but especially I) were brokenhearted. I’d had such grand visions of seeing newly hatched babies, and watching them grown, and even watching them learn to fly this summer. I was SO excited! Plus I have read that they often nest in the same location for three or four years in a row. But I am afraid that this will have scared her off, eliminating any chance of her returning next year… I don’t know if it was squirrels or the vicious crows that are always hovering–oh, how I detest them… Anyhow, here’s what’s left now of her carefully created little nest:

I feel so bad for her, and for us, too!! I am hoping against hope that they will return next spring…

  • Christy - June 13, 2011 - 4:06 am

    Did you have to climb the tree to get the shot? LOL. I think it’s great you were able to get mama bird on the nest. I Also like your processing.ReplyCancel

  • megan moore - June 13, 2011 - 4:36 am

    Aww! 🙁 That’s sad! Mean crows. These are beautiful Jessica, I love your processing on them. I hope they come back next spring too!ReplyCancel

  • admin - June 13, 2011 - 10:45 am

    Christy, I had to stand on a chair to get high enough to see inside her nest, but it was only about 2 feet from the window, so she was REALLY close, which made it SO exciting!ReplyCancel

  • Holly Thompson - June 13, 2011 - 11:35 am

    *Sniff sniff* I need a tissue! I wonder what happened? You must have been beside yourself when you discovered this. I hope she comes back, if she survived the attack. The photos are gorgeous and I was so excited to see her babies. I’m so sorry, sweetie!ReplyCancel

  • Kim kravitz - June 13, 2011 - 11:59 am

    Gorgeous images! So sad to see the nest got destroyed, though. 🙁ReplyCancel

  • Julie Anders - June 13, 2011 - 12:55 pm

    Oh, I was getting excited to see humming birds in action 🙁 Sigh, Mother Nature! But, AWESOME job on capturing the nest, eggs and mama! Fun to see a hummingbird sitting still.ReplyCancel

  • sara - June 13, 2011 - 4:40 pm

    sadness 🙁 but i will say, these are great shots. i love the egg shot!ReplyCancel

  • April Nienhuis - June 13, 2011 - 5:47 pm

    Oh that is so sad! Your photos of the story are beautiful though. Hopefully mama will come back next year.ReplyCancel

  • Danika - June 13, 2011 - 9:39 pm

    Aww, poor lil’ birds!! Beautiful pictures though 🙂 Maybe you can hang a feeder to encourage more birds to come back??ReplyCancel

  • Monica Wilkinson - June 13, 2011 - 10:41 pm

    Aww..that is such a sad little story. Poor mama hummingbird. 🙁 Beautiful shots.ReplyCancel

  • staceyrw - June 14, 2011 - 9:57 am

    I was also going to ask how you got those photos! Very nice. I love the ones with the eggs. We had a bird nest last year – she actually made one on the ledge of our brick column just under the roof! We were very careful not to disturb them. It was a great little lesson for my son!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - June 15, 2011 - 8:34 am

    Aww you have such a sweet heart. Poor mama bird!ReplyCancel

  • heidi - June 16, 2011 - 4:32 am

    These are just…wow!!! Beautiful. I am sorry…I teared up too, I hope they will be back! 🙁 I would leave out some nesting stuff for them! You can buy some raw wool and hang it in your yard, stuff like that, to encourage them. 🙂 Glad you got it documented!ReplyCancel

  • Mrs. Fun - June 17, 2011 - 12:26 pm

    I am so sorry. That is so sad. I hope that they do return.ReplyCancel