Wata Treat: Mother Hummingbird Takes A Break At The Fountain

While doing some yardwork this past weekend I watched in amazement as our momma Anna’s hummingbird (see her at her nest in the backyard Victorian box tree feeding her two chicks) took a break away from her ever-demanding — and growing — babies by visiting the tabletop fountain I’d made a while ago (from an old recirculating pump that pushes water in a cascade down two old watering cans) to quench her thirst and clean up a bit.

The next day, I set up my GoPro cam in front of the fountain and with my fingers crossed left it alone to record a repeat performance of what I hoped was the bird’s morning routine. Sure enough, here she is: first chasing off a yellow-rumped warbler that had dropped in for a sip, and then adorably going to town on the edge of the smaller watering can.

I don’t think it’s that often one gets to see such an extended display (it certainly isn’t for me), much less capture it on camera, so I’m doubly thrilled to have seen it and to share it:

And Then There Were Two!

Well, as is readily evident in the clip of this morning’s feeding session, you can count me happily mistaken in my previous presumption that there was but one Anna’s hummingbird chick in the nest in our backyard Victorian Box tree. There is indeed, two and both look hungry and healthy. Yay!

And just in case you might be wondering about my gum-and-duct-tape set-up to get this footage, here’s a snap illustrating just that (although I use putty — not actual chewing gum — to hold the cam lens to the spotting scope eyepiece; click it for the bigger picture):

It’s Humma Time!

I saw a most amazing thing last weekend. I was up in the rear of of our backyard watching a number of bushtits chirping and flitting through the branches of the unknown flowering tree that’s centrally located back there. Suddenly an Anna’s hummingbird dives in and squares off aggressively against one of the bushies only a few feet above me. Buzzing the Bushie and diving at it while putting on a display of spread tail feathers and noisy clicks and chirps, the bushie eventually had enough and vacated the area to a different part of the tree. Then the hummingbird lighted on a nearby branch and stood watch. I was amazed having never seen such a big display of territoriality from such a little thing.

My guess was that even though it’s hella early, the hummer had built or was building a nest in the vicinity and was preventing the bushie from pilfering material from it for use building its own house.

I didn’t locate the hummingbird nest then, but today, bingo — and found it almost completed.

Given the awe I have for the little creatures, I set up the spotting scope and got the cameras clicking both while it was in its nest, on a quince tree limb, and grabbing a sip from a nearby aloe bloom:

Lastly here’s a short vid I got through the spotting scope of the bird sitting in the nest and then leaving it.