Humming Birds Builds Nest At The Conner’s
By Rick Loy
Many times you’ll put out feeders and enjoy watching Hummingbirds as they come and go for their food and drink, however finding their nesting place is often a chore. For the Conner’s who live on Park Ave. and Helen St. in New Martinsville they discovered the nest built on their wind chime.
Paul measured the next compared to a golf ball and they were mearly the same. While getting pictures of the carefully woven home for the birds it was discovered the pair residing in the nest were actually setting on a couple eggs waiting on the young ones to hatch.
Hummingbird nests are very small and well camoflaged which makes them difficult to find even when in plain sight. The best way to find a hummingbird nest is to wait for the female to lead you to it. Many times even this won’t work as a nest can be 1.5 km or more from a good feeding area.
These hummingbirds at the Conner’s home are known as Ruby-throated Hummingbirds that usually build their nest in the crotch of a tree, rarely the female will build on top of a flat man-made object such as a post or porch light. That is what appears to have happened in this case as the wind chime seemed like the most obvious spot.
Because it is against state and federal law to collect or possess hummingbird nests in the U.S or Canada, one should leave any hummingbird nest in place even after the breeding season is over.
The spiderweb used by hummingbirds is sticky, of course, so the lichens stick to the web and are also caught beneath overlapping strands of silk. The female collects the silk strands of spiderweb and winds them around plant parts and lichens and then fills in the cup with plant down. In spring, female hummingbirds are often seen hovering in the eaves and roof overhangs of houses, where they are probably collecting spiderwebs and, perhaps also dining on small spiders.
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird, incubation which is done only by the female usually lasts 16-18 days, sometimes longer during cool weather. She typically lays one egg, skips a day, and then lays a second. Incubation does not start until both eggs are laid. The chicks are small, leaving the nest no more than a few minutes each hour to forage. When hatched they are completely naked and measure around 2.5 cm (one inch) long. Fledging usually takes about three weeks after the hatch date, depending on how well the mother finds food.
The Conner’s have been enjoying the birds this year, but know that they will soon be gone, however it is likely they will return next year to the delight of the couple who keeps the feeders full.