Saturday, March 07, 2015

Twin Beaks -- The Hummingbird Saga Part 3

SUMMARY: Apres Nest

Backfill: Added February 20, 2016

(Read the earlier parts here: Twin Beaks Part 1 and  Twin Beaks Part 2)

Feb 24 10:33 p.m. A photo essay on learning to fly

Twin Beaks the final episode: One chick had flown the coop today; this is the only one I saw (who had still been in the nest yesterday). I got lucky to spot him at all.

I looked out the window and noticed that this guy was out. See him by the xmas light in the center?  He's just looking around.


So I went outside calmly, trying not to look like a stalker.  He watched me carefully. This is the best I could zoom in--


I got close enough to get this shot. For some reason using a 100mm prime lens (meaning not a zoom), so for a closer-in shot, I actually have to get close. Therefore, many of these are cropped from the original, hence not so sharp.  He's still watching me.


Even more fun if I crop that photo later, like this. Here he is, waiting for me to move away again.



I moved away again. He tried fluffing up and testing his wings (VERY fast--the motion is frozen here but it was a blur) and puffing up...

...then he settles back in, although feathers are still a little fluffed out (see him in front of the white flowers?)...


...--and then suddenly ZOOM-- He's gone!  Jeez, hummers can move! Even babies just learning to fly!


This was me trying to catch him in flight. I failed. Where'd he go?

I found him again wayyy over here.  (Above the colorful metal thingie.)



We waited a bit and Mommabird showed up. She always looks around carefully before paying attention to her chick clamoring FEED MEEEE! Now you can compare and contrast to an actual fully functionally feathered female.


Feeding; both are moving their heads pretty fast. And, that's it! No one is sleeping in the nest tonight (after both chicks were last night). So hoping that they're both happily on their way!

Feb 25 -- 4:42 p.m

Sigh. Literally suffering from empty nest syndrome this morning. (My palm is touching the nest. Tiny little thing.) So small, to fit those 2 birds in there!


Feb 25 -- 10:56 p.m

OMG OMG OMGGGGG! I heard those tiny high-pitched peeps like they'd been using to call mom, and went out to look--and sure enough, lucky enough to catch movement in this tree as one of the babies fluttered from branch to branch! See him? See him?


OK, here's a close-up--there he is, just to the left of center! OMG! I found one of them!  (And just to left of center, above!)


But wait! More fluttering (they've got the wing speed up, but not so good at darting around like an adult), and here's baby #2!!! O! M! G!


Really! See? Right in the center above.



Zip! Baby #2 flitters gradually (wings zooming but motion not so confident) over to the left towards his nestmate--and past him to perch again.  (Maybe they're sisters. Who knows.)


And here they are together! (#2 in upper left, #1 bottom right). O. M. *****G.*****!!!! I am so happy!


Feb 27, 10:19 a.m.


Hummingbird baby followers--saw them again yesterday in the same tree, still fluttering around, getting the hang of things.

March 3

Saw the babies this morning! I hear that stratospherically high monotone eeeee eeeeee as one called for mom. Found him on the edge of my porch (hummingbird feeder at top); see him very bottom center next to the stub post?

They're still hanging around, hoping that mom will reappear, I guess.  I happened to notice this little guy looking small and alone and forlorn.  Of course, that's just my interpretation--maybe he was simply basking in the sun.


Watching me carefully as I got closer and closer and closer--


He let me get within two feet of him! I wonder whether all those photos that I took of them in the nest made him more generous with my approach.


He gave me one last look--I'm two feet away now and still this photo is cropped in--and just after this shot, streaked away to that nearby unleafed tree.


I saw both of them a couple more times after that, together, right in this area, then after that, who could tell which hummer was which?

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