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Hummingbird Fledglings!

Ha! I have confirmation at last–Single Female Hummingbird has raised a pair of babies in the yard.

I had a suspicion when two hummingbirds showed up out of nowhere, and Single Female Hummingbird didn’t chase them away immediately. She is merciless to intruders into HER yard. These two she tolerates to be on the other side of the bee balm, although if one makes for a flower that she’s working on, she gets pretty annoyed.

But it was only a suspicion, because a young adult hummingbird looks exactly like an adult female hummingbird*, so for all I knew, I was just hosting some peculiar avian sorority. But today I actually got a close look at one of the newcomers, and he had fluff. The last bits of baby down were still clinging to his little feet, and particularly ridiculously, to the top of his head.

So Single Female Hummingbird successfully raised a pair of babies! (Male hummingbirds are deadbeat dads.)

I am terribly gratified. This goes along with the single pipevine swallowtail caterpillar on the hairy Dutchman’s pipe as Awesome Stuff In The Garden This Summer. And now I can add ruby-throated hummingbirds to the list of birds that have raised babies in the yard, which includes blue-gray gnatcatchers, white-breasted nuthatches, Carolina chickadees, tufted titmice, red-bellied woodpeckers, and possibly most gratifying, the pileated woodpecker. (Only one baby there, but it was a BIG baby.)


*The ruby gorget that marks males doesn’t show up until next year.

Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.


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Congratulations! Very, very cool.

Sometimes you can spot an immature male by his dark spotted throat: http://www.hiltonpond.org/images/CR2010RTHUSYM01.jpg Not always though, some have clean throats.

hummingbirds are awesome! when I lived in San Diego, there was a pair of Anna's hummingbirds that liked the plants we kept out on our little porch. They would get so close it was like they were teasing us.

years back, when I was living in Florida, we had an unusually early fall, and we had some hummingbirds living in our yard. I went out to fill their nectar feeder, and one of them landed on my hand for about 5 minutes. I can only guess it needed a little heat. We got a couple of pictures of it, I'll have to dig them out.

Many years ago a hummingbird built a nest on the ring of a mobile that we had hanging on our back porch. It was just outside the kitchen window. We got to watch lay the eggs, hatch the babies, and raise the brood. One particularly startling evening, while I was moving out of that house, I'd gone on the porch to get some of my rose bushes that were in pots, and the light startled her and she flew in the house. It was a tense few minutes until I thought to turn lights on and off in sequence, leading her back outside. She didn't seem any the worse for wear for her adventure, but I think I aged ten years that night.

you'd be amazed what is living in your piece of forest. We're barely on an acre in a pretty heavily populated area. Our back yard ends in the woods, and we have woods across the street from us. I'm talking trees barely wider than a typical yard would be, not a huge patch of trees. At any given morning, we'll have at least 3 or 4 deer cutting across our yard going from one patch of woods to the other. Coyotes, woodchucks, hawks, you name it.

How large is your yard again? We have almost six acres here, about a third of it forested, and we host nothing like the wildlife that you regularly post about.

(Although a black-tail deer did come through the other day)

2.5, mostly forested. I don't think we're doing anything special beyond the obvious no-pesticides, water-sources, native-plant thing. Lotta bugs in the garden bring in lots of wildlife, mostly.

Could just be that I'm out looking a lot, mind you!

Congrats, Auntie Ursula!

Are you morally compelled to sing the words "SINGLE FEMALE HUMMINGBIRD" in Bender-voice, or is that just me?

My cousins were married on a cruise ship. On this cruise ship, we had assigned seating in the dining room. I was (of course) at the Troublemakers Table, the place at which you were seated if'n it was expected that you would probably cause trouble if'n you were seated anywhere else.

Not that it's terribly material, but this table included myself, my wife, my mother, the groom's aunt, and the bride's mother.

And, every night, the charming waiter would recite the menu, and one would choose amongst the many delectable choices he would offer, and irrespective of one's decision, he would always respond "excellent choice".

On the second or third night, I forget which, after much alcohol and varying degrees of success at acquiring the 'sea legs' as it were, we sat down to dinner minus one guest, and the waiter inquired "And will Madame be joining us this evening?"

I replied "Madame is in her stateroom, being violently unwell".

He replied, without missing a beat, "Excellent choice".

We tipped him generously.

And to this very day, whenever I ask an either-or question to which someone answers 'yes', I always hear, in the accent of a BBC-standard-English-as-spoken-by-a-filipino-gentleman:

"Excellent choice".


I needed to see/hear something cheerful today and you did of. Squee!!!!

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Awesome! Go, instigator!

Have you seen this:
It is a live feed from an osprey's nest in Estonia, with three chicks (and a hardworking dad and mum who go hunting a lot, but almost always one of them is in the nest). It's amazing to see how quickly they grow, I ca,m across it less than a week ago, and they were tiny and covered in white fluff. Now two of the three already have the beginnings of markings, and look to be the size of a small chicken...


Wish I knew what happened to all the babies in my yard this year. I hadn't noticed them, but my husband (home recuperating from minor back surgery) saw a nesting cardinal with babies in our climbing rosebush. About a week later, we had a very bad storm, with about a half hour of small hail and two inches of rain, and the next day, there were two half fledged bluejays hopping around in our yard. Neither of the baby jays survived (they were just too small, and we have too many feral cats in the area), and when I went and looked at the cardinal nest, it was empty. I don't know if they fledged and flew away, or if the neighborhood hawk or the cats got them (can't see how the cats could get to them in the middle of a rose thicket, but....). *sigh*

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You wouldn't happen to be in NY state, would you?

Oh, I wish you had pictures! I'm in the very, very early stages of turning my postage stamp of weeds, grass and wild rhubarb into a proper garden for hummingbirds and butterflies. It's very slow going.

The only "cute" things that I get are the squirrels chucking half eaten black walnuts on my patio. I swear sometimes they're aiming for me when I'm grilling.

While the hummingbirds are still young, you should try to teach them the words.

They'll thank you later.

OT but last week Mom and Dad had their doe showing off her baby. They live on a couple of acres waaaay up a mountain and have been there about five years now and tend to let the deer be, mebbe saying hi or tossing apples where they can get them. Anywho, apparently the deer lurker by the mancave window until Dad saw her and the baby, then went around the house to the dining room window and lurked until Mom saw her.

Mom was delighted, they hadn't had any deer the year before. She's also seen a bobcat! And they have hummingbirds! And dragonflies and frogs and the occasional heron, eating the frogs. :p

I understand you like BIRDS (cute diagram of a bird).

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