Last week I posted a link to a live camera that has been filming the same hummingbird nest for several years. Two chicks were hatched in December, but just a couple days ago, something heartbreaking happened: mom didn’t return to the nest. After 20 hours of not seeing Phoebe, the mother hummingbird, a wildlife rehabilitator was called in to rescue the chicks.
Monique, the rehabber, delicately removed the entire nest and took it back to her home, where she’s raised orphaned hummie chicks in the past. Like most rehabbers, Monique doesn’t get paid to do this and according to the admins of the live cam page, the complex mix used to feed baby hummingbirds isn’t cheap. It’s not sugar water; it’s a mix of proteins and nutrients closer to what momma bird would regurgitate for babies. If you’re compelled to help Monique, you can donate to her through her website at http://mfrartwork.com/donate/ and browse her lovely artwork.
You can watch Monique trying to give the chicks a meal in the video below. It’s rather magical. Thanks for reading!
It’s that time of year again, when baby birds and their outstanding parents are caught on camera streaming live to we nerds! Here’s a selection of some very awesome ones (please excuse the strange commercials asserting that BP did its job in cleaning up the oil.):
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a nestcam focused on a some barn owls in a nesting box. I love watching these birds do housework in prep for the (hopefully) forthcoming family. (Clicking on the “select a camera” drop down will allow you to also view the nests of bluebirds, a titmouse, and a Great Horned Owl.)
The Phoebe Allens camera is watching a hummingbird nest containing (so far) a single, jellybean-sized egg. (Scroll down to see the camera.) The ads and the random chat line in the sidebar were weird and distracting, but this little hummie is totally worth it. I just found this awesome article on how predatory our little buzzing friends are too, check it out! Seems like hummies need as much or more insect protein than nectar!
The Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group is watching a momma Peregrine Falcon sitting on her fluffy gray chicks.
Bald Eagles may be the most popular for raptor cams, so here’s three for you: Turtle Bay Exploration Park in California, the Eagles of Hornby Island, and this one from the Raptor Resource Project. Ahh! I’m watching the Raptor Resource one right now and dad just brought mom a big juicy fish and is chatting her up! (And for those of you who don’t know already, Bald Eagles don’t make that majestic scream they play in all the movies – that’s a Red-Tailed Hawk. In real life they sound like giant seagulls.) Watch the video below to see an eaglet bursting forth from its egg! (Ok, there’s no ‘bursting’ and it doesn’t actually get interesting until four minutes in and even then its siblings are walking all over it, but still! It’s BIRTH! New eagle LIFE!)
Now remember, if you get all attached to the babies (or the parents), you may in for some heartbreak as raptors often lose chicks before they’re grown. Besides that, please take a look at any or all of these cameras; what an incredible opportunity we have to see these animals in their natural habitat, performing natural wild behaviors with modern technology! It’s way better than watching the news. By a LOT.
Ahhh. I love nesting season. Happy Spring everyone!