Hummingbirds: tiny and agile birds. For years they bring joy with their presence in Kabalebo. Sipping nectar from flowers or searching for tiny insects .... always on the move. I started to put out hummingbird feeders to enjoy even more of their presence. For both of us it was a win-win situation: I get to see them even more frequently and they get their extra treat. Since they know that food isn't scarce all year long in Kabalebo and nobody is bothering them at all, they started to feel very comfortable and safe in our presence. So safe that they started to build their nest nearby and let us witness the birth of the next hummingbird generation.
In this article: the Fork - Tailed Woodnymph # 1
The Fork - Tailed Woodnymph (Thalurania furcata) is a common hummingbird in Kabalebo. Both male and female are seen here on a regular basis. After I introduced the feeder to them in 2012, it was as if they were in heaven. Since that day they never left the scene. I always am amazed by hummingbirds and I often wonder about their nest or the incubation period. My patience was finally rewarded on June 15th, 2014. Her nest was discovered accidentally, it was perfectly hidden away between big mango leaves and the best part ..... it is only 1.5 meter up from ground level ... great to observe everything. No need to climb in trees or use a ladder.
It was the cutest nest I've ever seen: 3.5 cm wide and 2.5 cm deep. The nest is made out of fine fibers, fine grass, cobwebs and lichens. The female was gone, so I had a quick sneak peek: 2 oval white eggs as big as an M&M chocolate peanut.
Excited by this 'accidental' discovery, I immediately let everybody know about the nest. Meaning: "Please don't bother the bird." As everybody here now know that I'm an enthusiastic birdwatcher they respected my request. I also put a feeder nearby for her. I observed the nest for 2 hours that day: besides sitting on the eggs, she also brought in more nest material to strengthen her nest.
On the second day, June 16th 2014, I noticed that she drank frequently from the feeder that I had put out for her. I noticed that the Fork - Tailed Woodnymph male also drank from the feeder. It is possible that he is the future father, because he was making a lot of noise when he was near the nest. I noticed that she sits at least 15 - 20 minutes on the eggs and then leaves the nest. During the day she gathered even more nest material. Around 5 o'clock in the afternoon there was a strong wind. The branch where she has her nest started to swing a lot. She immediately flew back into her nest and made herself almost as one with her nest (like a lid on a pot) She was making sure that her eggs were safe during this rough windy situation. You have got to admire her bravery and love for her babies (eggs).
To be continued .......