The Anna's hummingbird's eggs have hatched!
We don't know how long she incubated her eggs, because we only noticed her sitting on the nest last week, and didn't ever see her building the nest.
Normally, depending on weather conditions, hummingbirds need to incubate their eggs for two to three weeks.
This past week, ever since we discovered the nest last weekend, we checked to see if mama hummingbird was sitting on her nest. And she usually was, except when she was away finding nourishment for herself.
Then on Friday, two days ago, we didn't see her in the morning or in the evening, although we checked several times. I feared the worst, that some predator got mama hummingbird.
And the nest just looked unattended.
The same situation yesterday. No mama hummer in sight.
We had our moments of anxiety.
I thought we might need to rescue the eggs in their nest and incubate them under a 35 WATT light bulb.
I also read how demanding work it is to feed baby hummingbirds, that they would need to be fed every 20 minutes. As a person working a 40 hour week, there was no way I could do this for two weeks, the average time it takes for a hummingbird baby to mature.
I already had done my research, locating wildlife organizations who could direct us to individuals who could raise the chicks.
Today, as I stood in the garden with my camera, from a distance I looked at the nest.
Imagine my surprise to see a little beak pointing upward from the nest ( top image).
I waited quietly for about 15 minutes and heard a hummingbird chirping and buzzing nearby.
And then I spotted mama hummingbird in the neighbors' walnut tree on the opposite site of the driveway.
Apparently this is a great vantage point to monitor her nest.
Baby hummingbirds are quiet and only will peep when they are starving and abandoned.
Suddenly mama hummingbird chirped and buzzed near me and then flew to her nest to feed her babies.
See the dark silhouette of the hummingbird from behind as she sits on the edge of the nest to feed her babies.
Up to then I had only seen one beak pointing upward out of the nest so I assumed there was only one baby.
But after mama hummingbird flew away again I saw movement in the nest as the baby turned.
And this baby looks quite large for having hatched just two days ago!
See the soft lump and feathers above the rim of the nest?
That's a baby hummingbird.
And you see a beak, too.
But wait, there are two beaks...
So there are two babies, after all.
I think the nest has already stretched a bit.
Let's hope all goes well for these little babies!