Glancing up into the maple tree in the front yard....I notice a little knob on one of the branches. It's been there before only not on this particular branch. What could it be? All during the spring, summer and into the fall, the hummingbirds fly from my feeders on the front porch to this convenient tree. Back and forth...quick as a flea. So many trips each day. Don't they get tired...I've often wondered? How can such a tiny thing bring so much joy to my life? Around the first of May the clean feeders go out.....filled to the brim with that sugary, syrupy, liquid that they love. It will be my job to keep the syrup coming and the feeders cleaned and full. It gets to be an everyday job, as the season progresses. Then the wait begins. I sit on the bench on the front porch and start watching. Soon a blur goes by my eyes...then it happens again. A little dash of brilliance, if the sun hits it just right. Yes, it is the hummingbird...he's back for another year...and here's his wife too. We never have seen them building their home...the leaves on the maple are obscuring the view. I say most every year, "They must be building a nest in that tree." The male builds the nest, but the female takes care of the eggs.Its nest is a cup of plant down and spider web, covered with flakes of lichen, placed 5-20 ft. above ground. Two white eggs are incubated for about 20 days by the female humming bird and the young will leave the nest 20-22 days after hatching.
These birds don't reuse a nest from season to season but may reuse it in the same season for its second brood. They often return to the same territory from year to year and maybe to the same shrub or tree. It's illegal to remove or take any nest that you may find. So for the last couple of years, I have spotted a nest after the leaves fall...and know that the hummingbird has built it's nest in the maple tree again. This nest has hung on ...though it looks a little droopy on one side. I'm anxiously awaiting the time when those precious little birds come flitting by my window.
So, on to this morning. It's cold and bright outside. The snow cover is still there and the birds are flocking to the feeder. The feeder in back needs to be filled again. There are so many varieties of birds here at the close to the house feeder. They must feel safe here in that little spot by the American Cranberry bush. Those little red headed finches have made their presence known....and are visiting along with the cardinal right now. Please keep watch tiny birds....the hawk was just there yesterday afternoon.