Mama and Baby

Earlier last week, one of the hummingbird babies left the nest. That left her “brother” behind. For two, almost three, days, Mama continued to feed him. Then one day, he flew a bit falteringly and landed on an oleander branch near the nest. There he stayed for hours. Mama fed him where he was. She flew in place to show him how it’s done. She flew away and came back. But she was always right there in the vicinity, helping him transition to an adult hummer. In this video you can see them in action.

Pretty cool video, I think!

My DIL told me that one of their hummingbird babies flew before the other, and that before the “runt” could leave the nest, Mama disappeared. Seeing how devoted these birds are to their babies, I can only surmise that something tragic happened to the mother. But, guess what? The more advanced sibling began to feed the one left in the nest, and eventually that one joined his brother or sister flying across the sky.

For those of you who don’t have hummingbirds by you, remember that their nest is barely larger than a golf ball, so these birds are very small.

A Route of Evanescence

A Route of Evanescence,
With a revolving Wheel –
A Resonance of Emerald
A Rush of Cochineal –
And every Blossom on the Bush
Adjusts it’s tumbled Head –
The Mail from Tunis – probably,
An easy Morning’s Ride –
Make it a week to cherish! XO


Filed under #AmWriting, #writerslife, Arizona, Cats and Other Animals, Poetry, Writing

71 responses to “Mama and Baby

  1. Yes – pretty cool – as was the golf ball comparison

  2. Amy

    What amazing devotion!

  3. We get the occasional hummer but I’ve never been successful at feeding them (other than my geraniums which they like). You are lucky to watch the whole family thing.

  4. Amazing! We’ve had a nest of robins. So fun to watch the process.

  5. I’m glad ‘your’ babies have flown the nest safely and it was heart-warming to read about the bird fed by its sibling.

    • I was touched by that story, too. Though hummingbirds are wild, they are a little different from other birds and some ways. For instance, they are very easily tamed and seem to trust humans.

  6. So sad when the mother can’t make it back to her babies but amazing that the sibling took care of the younger one. That actually surprises me because in many cases the babies crowd out the weakest and don’t care if it dies. Great video!

  7. I’m thankful you could share this with us.

  8. A beautiful post, Luanne! 💙💙

  9. Such sweet news is balm for the soul. <3

  10. I can’t imagine how scary it would be to fly for the first time. Thank you for the video. You are right, Luanne. It is cool.

  11. I do a lot of planting for the birds and bees but no longer have the energy to do the sugar water detail. That was an awesome video. I love watching them and hearing them in our trees. There are so many of them in the pines. I don’t see well enough to catch what you have on video so thanks for sharing it.

    • I actually think it’s just as well as those feeders make me nervous because they have to be cleaned so well and well regularly. I love hearing that you have so many in the pines! How wonderful! I can’t see the nest from the distance I have to stand to video (so I don’t bother them), so I have to calculate by which branches the nest is, memorize, and then aim and keep zooming until I see it through the enlargement on my phone screen. So I don’t see anything at first LOL! Hope all is well, Marlene! XO

  12. Thanks, Luanne, for the video and poem. I just put out feeders for my hummers (sugar and water only, no food coloring).
    Hoping for visitors soon!

    • Oooh, be sure to clean that feeder all the time! I never use feeders any more because it’s too much work to keep it clean enough for their safety. You are ambitious! My son and DIL even gave me two darling vintage style feeders, but I just use them for decoration in the house hahaha. Hope you get your visitors!

  13. Loved this one, Luanne!
    Amazing story about the baby bird coming back to take care of the sibling!

  14. Nice to meet you Luanne. I have become absorbed reading through some of your beautiful posts and I have subscribed to your blog.

    Amazing and cool video! I agree, helping him transition to an adult hummer. Hummingbirds and the importance of family. ❤️We have hummingbirds in our yard and on our deck all year long. My husband makes sure the feeders are clean and full. They are a delight to watch. Coincidentally, I have a book on order from the library “The Hummingbirds’ Gift” by Sy Montgomery. Thank you for my smile. I agree how it is a week to cherish. I am glad our paths crossed and I look forward to learning more about you. Erica

    • Thanks Erica! I just put the book on my Goodreads to-read list. I love that your husband is involved in taking care of the hummingbirds. It’s so nice to get to know you, too. XO

  15. Delightful post and video, Luanne! Although I’ve never seen hummingbirds myself, I just googled that we have the ruby-throated variety here in eastern Canada. Sightings are rare, though.

  16. A sweet story. Our hummers are being elusive this spring, but yours are making me smile.

  17. Thank you for sharing the video of these precious little creatures…how much joy they bring!!! So sad about the mama, but how wonderful a sibling took on the mothering role.

  18. I had forgotten about that Dickinson poem! Fun video. Sending love/hugs.

  19. Love the video! How wonderful that sibling hummers will help each other out. We have a couple of hummers that visit the feeder but they fight over it. Interesting to watch hummers in a dogfight. I never knew they could be so aggressive until we were visiting a former coworker of Greg’s. His house is in Davis, CA, and we were all sitting out on their patio having cool drinks when two or three hummingbirds started dive-bombing each other over our heads. It was quite thrilling. Eventually we moved inside because we were worried about being speared by one of them 😉

    • Yes, the Mama Hummingbirds are more ferocious than Mama Bears! That’s another reason I’m not that fond of hummingbird feeders. They never fight over the flowers. Very peaceful. Let’s face it: most of us fight over sugar haha!

      • Ha ha ha, yes, indeed, we do fight over sugar 😉 We have a couple of feeders, but Greg has seen them fight still, as if just being in each other’s space is enough to provoke aggression. I guess I should move one of the feeders. The other day I saw one check out all my flowers. I think it was an immature female Rubythroat. It was fun to watch 🙂

  20. What a great experience to share with the hummers. I once saw a male cardinal teaching his baby how to fly, and it was fascinating and endearing. The opportunity to glimpse the divine is really just right out there (though it includes Mr. Bobcat too!).

    • Oh, what a wonderful experience watching the cardinals! You are so right about glimpsing the divine right outside. Thanks for reading, Ellen!

  21. I have never seen hummingbirds before, living in this concrete jungle, so your videos and pix are a joy to see! <3

    • Oh my goodness! That is a hardship! Do you have a botanical garden where they might have hummingbirds? Are you too far north? How far north are you of kalamazoo, I wonder?

      • Montreal is about 40 miles north of the border. So not too far North. (Especially this past week – we’re roasting in temps in the 90s, and way higher in the West!)
        We do have a huge botanical garden. (My daughter had her wedding there in the Japanese section!) So I suppose they have hummingbirds!

        • I bet you do! That must not be that different from Kazoo. There are about 3 degrees latitude difference. At 69 miles per degree, it’s not much more than 200 miles.

  22. That is a wonderful observation of the older sibling feeding the younger one! We have hummers here, they love the orange trumpet vine.

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