I've been observing the Fork - tailed Woodnymphs' nest for quite a while now. I've taken many pictures of the female during incubation time. They say that behind every picture there lies a story, but not all of them have a happy ending. But still .... they all are interesting enough to tell. Sadly to say, this is my last article about her nesting.
For those who read all of my previous articles about the Fork - tailed Woodnymphs' nesting would have noticed that for me everyday was an exciting day. It felt like I got closer to the answer to that one particular question: When are the eggs going to hatch? It was also a joy to see her in action (gathering nest material, doing some wiggling in her nest and drinking from the feeder)
Everybody here got used to the hummingbird and her nesting. After observing her for more then a week now, I reduced my time from 60 minutes to 30 minutes and then 15 minutes. Everyday I noticed a certain system in her routine: for 20 - 35 minutes she sat in her nest, when there was no heavy wind and rain. She usually took a break for about 8 - 14 minutes. I also saw her visiting the other feeders and flowers, spread at different locations near the lodge. Quite understandable as she is also a territorial hummingbird and needs to make her round.
As usual I always check from a safe distance if she is in her nest. On June 26 2014, I did the same. She wasn't in her nest that morning so I decided to take a quick look inside her nest. And guess what .... no eggs inside. I immediately looked everywhere on the ground to see if they fell out of the nest. Nothing nearby, not even a little scattered egg shell. The nest was left undamaged. I guess that she had a surprise visit the night before from an unwelcoming guest. Surely I felt really sad that day as I got used to her and her eggs. But that's how nature works ...... some survive the ordeal some not. I can't really blame the culprit for it has to survive too.
The good news however is that the female Fork - tailed Woodnymph is still alive and well. I still see her everyday at the feeders, like nothing ever happened. Well who knows ......