A Favorite Sign of Spring

Jet Eliot

Anna's hummingbird (male), California Anna’s hummingbird (male), California

It’s this time of year along the U.S. Pacific coast when Anna’s hummingbirds are building their nests.  Every year they are our first bird to embark on the new nesting season.

Calypte anna usually lay a brood of two white eggs.  A tiny collection of plant fibers, lichen, and spider webs, the 2-3 inch nest is built by the female.  It can be found 4-25 feet above the ground, and is deeply camouflaged in a tree limb.

Anna's hummingbird (male), California Anna’s hummingbird (male), California

The female will incubate the eggs for 14-19 days, and feed the chicks until they fledge, about two weeks later.  The male helps out by protecting the territory.

Though this four inch long bird is tiny, it is fierce.

Every spring we dedicate an entire day to searching for a hummingbird nest, but only one year, probably about a decade ago, did we actually find…

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