I was fortunate to get the opportunity to photograph a Ruby-throated Hummingbird on the nest feeding a chick and did not pass it up. Running into Anne Morretti out birding, she mentioned 2 of her birding friends Joann and Monica had an active bird nest. I followed the excitement of the event for a couple of weeks from the first moment of seeing a nest with a female sitting on it, the tiny beak from the chick above the nest, till the day the bird fledged. There was just one chick and the female was always hanging around of course. Once in awhile a male was seen, but I never saw it near the nest. To find a Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest, you just have to be in the right place at the right time when an adult goes to the nest, and they were. The nests are just so tiny! A big thank you to Monica, Joann and Anne for sharing this event. A difficult event to photograph as lighting changed by the second, up in a dark tree and the branches were always moving so I apologize for any poor quality images as some I thought should be included in this post. I have put the images in order as the way they happened. Images were taken from August 22, 2016 thru September 4, 2016.
It all started here…….The female adult Ruby-throated Hummingbird sitting on the nest…
The nest, up in a large tree is about 2″ across and 1″ deep
At this point, not even sure if there is a chick in the nest or an egg, is she just house cleaning?
She sits on the nest, and out comes a feather, still don’t know if the feather was laying in the nest from her earlier or is off a chick?
Then the moment, a beak is seen poking up from the nest, it is a chick!
The chick is growing fast, there is the female on the branch along with the chick in the nest, calling “Mom”!
Waiting for food
The female lands on the nest with some food…
The feeding begins
The feeding continues…
The feeding continues down deep…
The end of the first portion
And they take a short break
And they start right up and the feeding continues
And it continues down deep
End of the 2 part feeding which I saw often
Nothing goes to waste…
A very short rest after feeding, then the female leaves the nest till the next feeding that were running about 15-20 minutes apart
I’m leaving for now
I will be back soon, chick in the background “Mom”!
Female perches in a near by tree on a branch within sight of the nest for awhile typically after feeding the chick
Stretching those wings
Preening and working that tongue
Two birds in one nest, I think the female was trying to open the nest up more which is what they do as the chick grows, the nest expands
Spreading those wings…
Just about time to fly, the chick fledged on September 4, 2016 about 9:00 am. I hope they are all doing well!
Wow Jim are you the gran daddy? Thanks for the great photos. Cheers from Peggy
Love this series! Esp. Mom & Baby in the nest together.
Fantastic photos Jim! Thanks for sharing! I’m still trying to locate my female hummer’s nest1
atta boy, Jim. nice series and story!
Great story, great photography! Nice work.
Awesome Jim. Some day….one day we too will find one. Thanks for sharing.
Absolutely love this series.
Fabulous photo series Jim. A rare and special collection.
You captured the nesting process beautifully. You were very fortunate to have witnessed and documented this magical series of events.
Such an amazing chronology of a miracle of nature Jim. Someday we hope to find a nest on our own property, but it will be very challenging with all of our huge, mature trees. Anyhow, wonderful images and narration. Love these!!
Good job…tough shooting conditions
Great series of fabulous captures, Jim. Very educational as well!
These photos are so amazing (as usual)! That took a lot of patience! I always wonder about that crazy long beak during feeding and how it doesn’t hurt the baby. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for a thrilling experience. Sent to me from my niece, Joann and Monica,all the way to Florida.
Photography truly beautiful.
Will share with our nature walkers here. Great work!
Gorgeous series of shots. .
Jim you have done a great favor for bird enthusiasts by bringing us these pictures. Most of us will never be lucky enough to find a hummer nest but thanks to you we have. Thanks again.
Thank you so much for sharing. I would love to find a nest some day.
Awesome. Thank you!