My daughter recently gave me a DVD entitled “First Flight: A Mother Hummingbird’s Story.” She knows that my late wife and I were fascinated by these tiny creatures who can fly forward, backward, up and down and sideways. All the years we lived in California, we always had multiple feeders available.
Some years back, while we were living in Yorba Linda, my wife decided to rearrange the furniture in our family room, including moving the TV from one side of the room to the other. This made it necessary to move the TV cable to another entry point. After I moved it, I had more cable than I needed — but I didn’t want to cut it, so I just left it laying on the patio cover. A short time later, we noticed that a loop of the cable had fallen down between the slats of the cover and a hummingbird was building a nest at the bottom of the loop. In a few days, she had the nest built and spent a lot of time sitting on it.
We watched and waited until my curiosity got the better of me and I climbed up on the patio cover and peeked into the nest. Sure enough, there were two jelly-bean-sized eggs. We continued our daily watch, and a short time later two tiny beaks pointed up and mama bird was flying in with food to stick into those beaks.
The little ones grew quickly, and soon it appeared that the nest was too small. One early evening when I came home from work, I went outside to see what was happening. I saw only one bird in the nest and thought sure I would find the other one injured or dead on the patio, but could find none. I turned to look out at the greenbelt behind our home and there was the second bird, sitting up on a thin branch of a tree, looking at me. My timing was perfect, as within a few minutes bird No. 1 took flight, made a perfect landing on the branch, and moved over next to bird No. 2. And then — they were gone!
Mama bird stayed around for a while, then she, too, was gone. Fascinating!
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