Mamas in the Yard

It’s been five years since the hummingbird mama grew two babies to adulthood in a nest right outside my back door–and then a few weeks later nurtured a second nest of babies! I was lucky enough to capture on video a baby leaving the nest in flight for its very first time.

Now it’s May once again, and we have two hummingbird nests in the yard! These are in the front yard–one in an oleander tree and the other in a wind mobile.

See her nest right there in the middle of the photo?

Look for the mama in the next photo! It’s a little harder haha.

She looks like she’s trying to blend right in. Here she and the nest are from a different angle.

Right underneath the mobile are a few flats of flowers that we have not yet planted. She keeps going to them for nectar as if we set them there for her babies.

Maybe these mamas are the babies of the ones I saw fly off into their lives!

Cat news: Perry is so stinken smart. It’s become clear that he absolutely knows what “Hold on” means and is willing to do it every time I say it. If we are walking somewhere in the house (he follows me), and I have to turn back for something, I say, “Hold on.” He then sits right where he is and waits for me to come back and then picks up following me again! If I were so inclined I think our boy might be trainable for Youtube.

One last note: I hope these mama hummingbirds and my cute boy Perry give you a little glimpse of hope after a tragic and sad week. Here is Emily Dickinson on the subject of hope:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –


Filed under #AmWriting, Cats and Other Animals, Flora, Garden, and Landscape, Nonfiction, Writing

49 responses to “Mamas in the Yard

  1. I’ve never been successful with hummingbirds. We get them occasionally but they don’t like any nectar I put out and sightings are rare. I have a catbird nest outside my porch and that’s been fun to watch. Fortunately it’s deep in a laurel tree so the cats can’t terrorize the mama.

    • Hah, so the birds don’t really know the cats are there! I don’t use any nectar, just flowers, to attract the hummingbirds. I have 2 feeders the kids gave me, but I am so nervous about not cleaning them properly because I know that’s dangerous. So I don’t use them. kind of like my Instapot ;).

      • I used them the first year and dutifully changed the water every 3 days. That got tedious. Last year I didn’t bother putting them out. Some people have great luck with them.

  2. This is beautiful, Luanne. I love the way Perry will “hold.” He really is smart!!

  3. I love the hummingbird nest in the mobil. That is so cool!
    And how wonderful to not only see a hummingbird, but to see families of them.
    Thank you for the hope. (We both wrote about birds today.)
    Aww–Perry. I’m sure Ricky understands some words, too.

    • Yes, they say cats have fairly large vocabularies. But they don’t often do what you want haha although plenty of cats come when you call them. But this “hold on” thing is definitely not something my other cats would do. They might even make a smart mouth reply if I tried it ;).
      The baby hummingbirds are so cute. I hope I get to see these when they hatch!

  4. The photo of the bird mobile with the hummer and nest is award-winning! You should send it somewhere! That Perry is remarkable. Wish I could see him in person. We had a hummer nest outside in a small, new tree with two eggs. We didn’t approach it often, but we saw the mother hummer flying around the nest often, but then after a week or so, nothing. Now the nest is still there but no eggs! We don’t know what happened.

  5. Perry is clever! And those hummingbirds are just gorgeous! We don’t have them here, but we have tiny little yellow tits that are maybe a similar size and they are delightful to watch. And that snippet from Emily Dickinson is one of my favourites <3

    • I think the smaller the bird, in general, the faster and flightier they are :). I also love finches! Our hummingbirds are not the jewel-colored ones, but they are still very adorable with their perky beaks in their mouse-tone robes!
      Perry is just beyond. What a cat. He is also one big baby who does get jealous of the other cats (when I kiss or pet them). The gardener sometimes calls him “Jealous Boy.” hahaha

  6. Yes, Perry and the hummingbirds are stories of hope,

  7. Oh my goodness! I have never seen a humming bird nest! They are so tiny! You are so lucky to see such things. I’m glad you bought flats of plants just for them. 😉 As for the cat, I think they understand more than we realize just usually ignore what we want of them. If dogs can learn at least 200 words, well cats probably know and ignore more than that. 😉 No matter how bad life can be, there is always some good swimming in it carrying the life preserver.

    • So tiny, like a miniature nest! I have one inside, too, because six years ago a nest was abandoned in my yard with an egg that never hatched. it wasn’t in a place where it could be kept for the following year, so I stole it.
      Hahahaha, I love it: “cats probably know and ignore more than that.” SO true! Most of my cats ignore me very often, especially if they know I want something from them (like eating the food they are served). Thank goodness for that life preserver, right?!

  8. An amazing juxtaposition

  9. Very beautiful, right down to Dickinson’s words. And of course, we felines are very smart, we just don’t like to rub our humans’ noses in it.

  10. These are such wonderful photos! Our hummingbirds love the Rose of Sharon tree when it blooms. Thank you for the message of hope. I’ll carry it with me today.

    • I’m so glad it resonated with you, Liz! Are your hummingbirds like ours or different? Do you get the pretty green ones? Ours are more of a mouse brown, but if anything that makes them more cuddly looking!

  11. Amy

    I think of that Emily Dickinson poem so often these days. It’s one of my favorites. I think I wrote a paper about it in college. But who knows where that is…

    And I do love hummingbirds. I think Emily must have been thinking of them.

    As for Perry, definitely YouTube material!

    • If I had more time I might let Perry get on Youtube. But I have a feeling that would be one huge time suck hahaha. And then it might go to his head. So cool that you wrote a paper about a Dickinson poem! She’s one of my favorites.

  12. Maybe she feels protected among all those bigger birds 🙂 And I’m not surprised Perry is that smart!

    • You know, that was actually my first thought! When I first saw her up there I didn’t see the nest and thought she was sitting there to hide from somebody. But now I wonder if she realizes they are birds or not. Why wouldn’t she be afraid of them? Would she know that they are fake birds? OK, once the lid is off the question box, the box has no bottom!
      It’s been clear from the beginning that Perry is very very special!

  13. Loved this post, Luanne!!

  14. How delightful! I’ve never seen a hummingbird nest up close. It must have been challenging to put one on a mobile. Love the smart cat!

    • Eilene, in that 5 year old post with the video of the baby flying you can see that the mother built her nest on a little glass ball hanging on a mobile of sorts. That is also kind of crazy. But then I guess if they build it on a branch of an oleander, it’s similar because those are skinny little branches that fly around in the wind! Hummers must use a really good “glue” :). Yes, Perry is a genius, it’s true haha.

  15. Luanne, your post is like a lovely oasis in the ongoing desert of horrors out there… thank you for this.

  16. What my husband would give to have hummingbirds nesting in sight. Well, I would like it too. For a short time every year, we’ll have two or three hummingbirds regularly visit the feeders — nothing like what Jill gets to enjoy ;).

  17. Hummingbirds are so sweet. We have them a lot in our yard.

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