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Sizing up a hummingbird nest

WILDLIFE WATCHING — How big is a hummingbird nest that held two chicks until fledging?
 
The chicken egg in the photo above tells the story.
 
South Hill resident Bill Bender followed the growth of the hummingbird family that nested on a bicycle-parts wind chime off his porch.  Here's his final report:
22 days from hatch to leaving the nest. Just for some perspective, here are pictures of the empty nest. Yes, that is a standard, store bought chicken egg, so that is how big the nest is. And the picture of the empty nest lets you know that the final nest was actually spread out larger, as the chicks got bigger. The original nest into which the eggs were laid was more like a cup, than the final soup bowl shape.
The other photo shows the two hummers at 17 days, filling the nest to overflowing just two weeks after they were so small they could hide at the bottom of the nest. One chick fledged at 21 days; the other a day later.

This date in Slice history (1995)

One appealing thing about bare trees: You get to see bird nests you hadn't even known were there.

(And here's an item from Nov. 18, 1996.)

Some of those around here who have been trying to sell their houses must be thinking it.

What this area needs is more Californians moving here.

An “Oh, no” moment

So I saw some white bird-droppings splotches on the back porch.

And I thought the unwelcome tenants were back.

A few years ago, sparrows built a nest in a wooden lattice right above our back door. That's not really an ideal spot. As I've already mentioned droppings, you can probably guess why.

But by the time I realized the nest was there, it was complete and the feathered family was situated. Too late for eviction, of course.

The next year, though, I was ready. The moment the sparrows started placing fresh nesting material in the same spot, I removed it. This went on for several days. Finally, the birds gave up and chose another site.

 Anyway, when I saw the droppings on the porch yesterday I knew what had happened. Having gone a few years without a nest, I had become complacent. I had forgotten to monitor the space above our back door and the sparrows had snuck back in.

But I was wrong. Upon checking the area above the door, I found no sign of nest-building.

So maybe the birds had just stopped by to say hello, or perhaps pass along some other greeting.