Since the arrival of feeders near the lodge, I have seen some regular visitors among the hummingbirds. The Black-throated Mango, the female in particular, is one of them. In return for this extra treat, she gives me the chance to observe her during her nesting period … for the second time.
Last year I was able to observe the Black-throated Mango's nesting for the first time. Usually the females build their nests on top of an exposed high branch. So most of the time it is impossible to really observe or shoot some nice pictures too.
But just like last year, she decided to build her nest a bit lower too but on a steady strong branch. You would think that she exposed her little ones to the cruel outside world, but she proved me wrong. I first didn't even know that there was a hummingbird nest nearby for quite a while, until I noticed that she was chasing away all kind of birds: from tanagers all the way till Crested Oropendola's. Birds that are actually bigger than her. But her caring for her hatchlings was stronger. It is known that only the female hummingbirds take care of their little ones; from building the nest all the way till taking care of her hatchlings.
The Black-throated Mango did such a good job in keeping her incubation period a secret. The first picture of the hatchlings I took on November 8, 2015. They were already a couple of days old (eyes open and first stage of puffy feathers) In the second picture you can see that their feathers are starting to grow nicely. This one was taken on November 20, 2015. You can clearly see that the nest is well camouflaged, blending perfectly well with the branch.
This is a wonderful moment to share: feeding time! I took these pictures on November 18, 2015. You can witness how cautious the mother was during feeding time. When feeding her hatchlings she also is exposing her hatchlings to the outside world. That is why it only takes like 2 minutes. She is a caring mother, making sure that both are being fed.
I took this picture on November 21, 2015. The hatchlings are growing really fast and this makes staying inside the nest very uncomfortable. Usually during feeding time they are sitting like this, with the head lifted up right.
On November 28, 2015 I was able to take this picture before it flew out of the nest. Its sibling already flew out, so it was only a matter of minutes before this one would follow too. Another successful nest observation.
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