Sunday, March 13, 2016

Why Are Baby Hummingbirds So Cute?

 Day One - February 19, 2016
Don't worry, they get progressively less blurry as they grow.
 Day Two
Whenever I go to take a picture I'm in danger of having my left ear pierced by a protective Mama Bird with a long beak.
 Day Three
What is up with all that hair?
 Day Four
 Notice the lichen  on that gorgeous nest.
 Day Seven
 Day Nine
I'm hungry Mama!
 Day Ten
 Day Twelve
 Day Sixteen
Their eyes are open!
Day Seventeen - morning.
Look at the two little bundle clumps all shoved in that little nest.  I read somewhere that the nest is built to expand as the birds grow.
Day Seventeen - evening.
Is it my imagination, or have they grown more just since this morning?
Day Eighteen
Day Nineteen
One day soon I'm going to go out there and the nest will be empty.  These birds look like their mama already.  Compare this picture to Day Sixteen - just three days ago.  Amazing!
Day Twenty
Look at the little dickens perched on the side of the nest!  He'll be flying any day now.  I predict Sunday (today is Friday).  That's when they'll be three weeks old.  Their backs are now iridescent green.
Day Twenty-One
Every day now I expect to find an empty nest.  I think they will fly either today or tomorrow.  I put this picture on my desktop on my new laptop.  Enlarged you can notice strands of what appear to be my hair intertwined in this nest!  That's where it went.
Day Twenty-Two
It's hard to see the difference between today's picture and yesterday's.  But if you notice the size compared to the nest you can see that they have really grown.  In my opinion they are way too big for this nest.  Yesterday we saw the mama feed the babies.

It has really been raining lately and I think they just feel like sitting tight.  I can totally relate.  I've barely left my nest in two days.  But I think that one on the right is thinking about it.  Hold on.  Nope.  Still both there.  I'll keep you posted.

I saw them flapping like crazy so I ran and got my camera.  I waited patiently.  They didn't flap anymore at that time, but the Mama came over and fed them.  I have to film from inside my back door, so I'm too far away to get a great shot, but I uploaded the video onto YouTube.  If you pull it up large, you can see the mama feeding each of the birds, then flying away.  They're in the center of THIS VIDEO.

Of course I'm keeping an eye on the nest today, expecting the babies to fly away any minute.  I went into another room and shot this next video of the MAMA FEEDING THE BABIES.

Then I got a shot of the babies flapping and preening,  SO SWEET.

As predicted, this was indeed FLIGHT DAY.  I was watching as the first bird flapped and flapped and was soon aloft!  She flitted to the next branch down where she sat for a bit.  A few minutes later I came back and she was gone.  Her brother sits alone in the nest.  It's dark now and possibly the brother is gone.  But I did see the mama come back one last time to give him a meal.

Here is the final video. (It's better than the last three.  Go ahead and click on it.)

On the off chance that I wake up tomorrow and that little brother is still sitting in the nest, I will update this blog posting.  But I have a feeling he will be gone by light of day.  And this posting has been waiting for days to be posted.   Weeks!  But it was so much fun watching these little birds grow day by day.

I think my favorite is day seventeen, the morning picture.  I remember when I used to raise rats, it was right after they opened their eyes they were so cute that you just felt like popping them in your mouth,  .Day seventeen was the day I had to restrain myself.  

Friday, March 11, 2016

Another Rainy Day in Benicia

It's been a long time since we could say "another rainy day . . . " and it feels so great.  I ran home from the gym in the rain today.  When I got home I hopped in the shower then put on some cozy clothes.  There's not a better feeling in the world than just coming off a good workout and being warm and cozy.

On the way to the gym we stopped by the metal lot to get rid of some metal.  There's a guy downtown who collects metal and donates money to the schools or something.  I'm not really sure what he does with all the metal to be exact, but it's a great place to put metal you don't need anymore.

Right next to his yard is the cove with the old boats.  It's hard to resist taking a picture every time I go by because it's always so beautiful.  Picturesque is a word that would not be inappropriate at this juncture.  Here, see for yourself:

See?  If I knew how to use my new computer I just got today right after putting on my cozy clothes (delivered by UPS at 11 a.m.), I would have cropped it a bit.  But there it is!  In all its natural beauty!  I love this town.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Cats and Birds and Leaving the Nest

Today Cinii spent about 15 minutes in the backyard with minimal supervision.  We know when it's time to come in because she starts making like she's going to climb the fence:  gets close to it, shifts her weight to her haunches and looks up.  We aren't ready for her to climb the fence yet.  And frankly she isn't ready either, but she doesn't know that.  She is terrified of cars (good!).  But who knows what she will do once she discovers that she is in the front yard?  Or in the next door neighbor's yard?  I don't want to find out.  At least not yet

Here is a picture of her traipsing up the Arbor Walk.  And then one of her sitting quietly.  Although once she sees me ready to take a picture her face gets all screwed up with alertness.  She's much prettier when her face is relaxed.  Aren't we all?

But she's still lovely.

Speaking of lovely, how dumb are these birds, Thumb and Tack?

Bluebell (formerly Mindy and before that Midas) is rarely seen near the babies these days.  But I'm sure she is feeding them because they are growing like weeds and will soon leave the nest, literally.

And my babiest chick will soon be leaving the nest figuratively.  The little boy moves out in three more days, never to return to the family home.  No more will I hear the lovely words, "Mom!  My coffee is not going to make itself!"  Maybe I can get him to come home occasionally and eat my food.  It's just possible he will allow me to do his laundry once in a while.