Heartbreak In The Big City

Recently a hummingbird decided to take up residence in my patio garden. She selected a hanging plant and started building a nest on a branch of the plant just six feet off the ground. Day after day the humming bird – which I named "Mom" – would make several trips with building materials for her new nest. Once finished, Mom would sit in the nest for hours at a time, only leaving for short periods to locate food. Soon all of the neighbors were watching Mom to follow the developments.
After a couple of weeks, two eggs could be seen in the bottom of the nest when Mom was gone. By holding a mirror over the nest you could watch things develop. Then one day the eggs hatched, revealing two tiny chicks resembling slugs.

wpe02366.gif (121416 bytes)
Baby Hummingbirds In Their Nest

Over the next few weeks the chicks grew at an enormous rate, and soon their heads could be seen peeking out of the top of the nest.By now Mom would be seen only a couple of times a day, when she would come to feed her chicks. If anyone were near the nest when she approached, Mom would make a snapping noise with her wings and take on an aggressive stance until the person was out of the area. Then one afternoon I was watching the ever-growing chicks with my binoculars, and I saw them trying out their wings.

With their little feet clasped firmly on the nest, the chicks were flapping their wings and getting lift. I knew that Mom would soon be pushing them out of the nest and on their own. The next morning I saw the chicks sitting in their nest as I went out for coffee. When I returned I saw Mom arriving with breakfast for her chicks. As I watched, Mom went to her nest only to find it empty. Her chicks had left home. Mom lighted on the nest and looked around for a moment. She then hung her head for a minute and gave what appeared to be a sigh. Her babies had left home without so much as a goodbye. Mom then flew away and never returned.