We live streamed two hummingbird nests as Anna’s Hummingbird Nest channel on ustream.tv in April and May 2013. The hummingbird nest cam showed that it is tough for these little birds to safely raise chicks.
Since 2012, we have watched many Anna’s Hummingbird nests. Many nests are successful. Young hummingbirds continue to come through the yard, trying out flowers and feeders.
But 2013 was a tough year for our neighborhood hummingbird nests. Here’s what happened.
First Anna’s Hummingbird Nest cam – April 2013
With the first Anna’s Hummingbird Nest cam, the mother hummingbird reused an old nest in our yard. Two sets of two chicks had fledged from that nest in 2012. But in 2013, she arrived to rebuild the nest after a pair of Curve-billed Thrashers (native desert birds) had built their new nest in the same Texas Ebony tree.
Our bird books and Wikipedia list Curve-billed Thrashers as eating insects and seeds; these Thrashers taught us that they also take nestlings. The Thrashers had their own chicks to feed. And those chicks were vocalizing loudly from their nest in the top of the tree.
The adult Thrashers eventually tore apart the hummingbird nest and took the hummingbird babies. The mother hummingbird defended the nest, but she was many times smaller than the big birds. (Thrashers are smaller than crows but larger than Mockingbirds.)
The mother hummingbird abandoned the nest. Within hours, she was collecting spiderwebs in the yard and flying away. She visited the backyard feeder many times, so we think she started over nearby.
And at least one Thrasher chick fledged and was in our backyard within a couple of days.
Second Anna’s Hummingbird Nest cam – May 2013
With the second Anna’s Hummingbird Nest cam, a different Anna’s Hummingbird built her nest in a neighbor’s tree.
When the babies were two weeks old, the mother hummingbird did not return. This was very unusual for a hummingbird and a bad sign. The chicks began to call in distress, something they do not normally do from the nest.
Viewers on the nest cam alerted us to the situation. We contacted wildlife rescue organizations and followed their directions: emergency fed the babies, waited hours for mother’s return, cut down the branch with the nest, and delivered the branch, nest, and babies to rescue.
Here is a video showing the hummingbird babies’ arrival at Wildwing Rehabilitation.
We watched for the mother but she never returned. Kestrels come through our neighborhood and roost on the same tree. But we do not know what happened to her.
Many thanks to Phoebe Allens for the inspiration, to Wildwing Rehabilitation for raising the babies, to Sheri Williamson for the coaching, to our neighbor and to Lakeshia at ustream.tv for their help and generosity. Most of all, thank you to the viewers/fans/followers of Anna’s Hummingbird Nest channel on ustream.tv and our Facebook Page, Arizona Hummingbird Nest Cam (Arizona Hummingbird Pictures as of 2016) for their interest and kindness.
We are back to our original focus: hummingbird photos, video, and sound recordings of hummingbirds found in the U.S. and Canada. Please take a look around the site. And thank you for coming by.