Back in the spring of 2013 I was an avid online hummingbird watcher. A man in Southern California had a live streaming webcam focused on a hummingbird nest, and hundreds of us tuned in regularly to watch Phoebe the hummingbird and her babies. Some of you may have been around back then and might remember the adventures and misadventures.
A few hours ago I was browsing some old posts and came across this particular video. Phoebe is on her nest with Fleur, her tiny chick. An orphaned chick named Pip is brought in and added to the nest. It’s striking to see a human hand next to the nest, highlighting just how tiny the nest and birds really are. It’s a comparison you rarely get from photos or actual observation.
The original post is “Hungry for Spring,” but in it the video looks like it’s no longer available (as seen below). However, clicking it or the screenshot at the top of this page will show you the video on YouTube. Note there is sound. If you keep watching you’ll see that Phoebe returns and immediately starts feeding the hungry orphan.
8 thoughts on “The size of a hummingbird”
Fascinating to watch but why can’t they leave the nest alone? It’s one thing to watch but I feel there is too much human disturbance.
They were always very careful to never disturb the birds. (Notice the trellis that screens the nest area from the patio.) This is an exceptional case where an orphaned baby, cared for and nurtured by a wildlife expert, was added to the nest so it could grow in a natural environment. I watched this camera for many days every spring and this is the only time humans ever approached the nest. I really miss this particular webcam.
We put out 3 hummingbird feeders and they are quite popular. After I fill them (usually a couple times a day), I stand very very still, just 1-2 feet away, and they return to feed. It’s absolutely amazing to watch them that close. I took some awesome video on my phone in slow-mo, but I’m pretty sure I can’t download and the slow-mo still work. It’s something to do with the camera app. I’ll have to try, though, and see if I can post it. I’m sure most have seen h-birds in slow mo, but I still enjoy it every time.
They are amazing creatures. As a child I first encountered them up here in mountain meadows and thought they were giant bees!
Oh what a gorgeous little bird. And isn’t her nest tiny👍❣️‼️And the chick even tinier👍❣️‼️
It was amazing and such a privilege to get to watch her, see the eggs hatch, watch the chicks grow and finally leave the nest.
You know in Japanese they actually call hummingbirds the 蜂鳥 hachi-dori “bee-bird” and that hummingbird chick does look something like a giant bee👍❣️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️
I first encountered hummingbirds when I was a child. They were flying around me in a meadow and thought they were big insects.