Hummingbird Repose

I watched the most beautiful Nature episode on PBS yesterday about Hummingbirds.    The show showed all kinds of hummingbirds captured  in the most wonderful photography.  It showed their wings in flight, their tail feathers spread, their ability to catch bugs in flight (did you know hummingbirds were carnivores?).  And it showed their nests.  Wonderful tiny creations the size of large walnuts and when the birds were perched in them, they look just the sweetest, most perfect  creature ever!

What a treasure it would be to find a hummingbird nest.  The show inspired me to create the thread art below.  This particular nest is only in South America (I think I am remembering correctly).  It was just about like you see it below, with bright green fibers intertwined to make a long (much longer than my piece shows) hanging nest.

I sketched my composition in colored pencil first and thought I would show you the beginning and the end.  This was a good way to repose myself this weekend while nursing bronchitis and an ear infection.   On the mend now and ready to sketch some more!  Lots more  hummingbird inspiration.  But then again, I am thinking I want to play with a Maxfield Parrish image.  I think that his color use would be perfect interpreted in thread!  Stay tuned…

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3 Responses to “Hummingbird Repose”

  1. Karen Owen Says:

    Oh, this is so beautiful! I didn’t know you were sick. Hope you’re feeling much better.

  2. Zoe Ann Hinds Says:

    If you have hummingbirds in your yard, pay special attention in the end of June and early July to see if there are any young birds that do not fly very well. This is a sign that there is a hummingbird nest in your area.

    Another thing to consider when trying to find a hummingbird nest is that it is important to look near a water source. Humidity is important to ensure the development of the embryo inside the egg. It is because of this that hummingbirds prefer to build near rivers, streams, ponds and lakes. Many species also choose to nest near a reliable food supply, so the birds are looking for there to be abundant blossoms in the area. At the same time, the nest will be protected from rainfall and direct sunlight, thus making it likely to be tucked away and difficult to spot.

    Female hummingbirds check the strength of a prospective nest site by clinging to it or repeatedly landing on it. If the site passes the test, a female will begin to build. The nest will be built on the underside of a palm leaf, on the side of a vertical plant stem, on a small branch, on top of a cactus or many other different locations are used and different species have different preferences. Hummingbirds usually build on branches, but the hermit hummingbirds build nests that hang from vegetation or from a vertical plant stem, root, or rock.

    Most typical hummingbirds build cup-shaped nests like the bird’s nests most of us are familiar with. Hermits build cone-shaped nests which hang vertically, attached to something strong enough to support the weight of nest and birds for the breeding season. Hummingbird nests are built with pieces of plants and often cobwebs, and females frequently need to repair the nest as the chicks grow.

    A hummingbird usually lays two white eggs, which are no bigger than peanuts, which hatch within 12 to 14 days after being laid. The young fledge in 18 to 20 days. Hungry nestlings may be seen reaching for the food their mother has brought; the chicks open their mouths in response to air currents created by the beating of her wings. Between three and four weeks after hatching, the young leave the nest and are on their own.

    It is my hope that this information will help you have greater success when trying to locate a hummingbird’s nest.

    • laurenfinley Says:

      Wow! Thanks, Zoe. I start my hunt. And I have noticed that our hummingbirds land in the same spot consistently. Very interesting. Beautiful, amazing little birds.

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