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Monday, June 18, 2012

Brooklyn Hummingbirds

On May 24th Bobbi Manian spotted a Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest in Prospect Park. Hummingbirds aren't known to nest in Brooklyn, so this is a very rare event. Over the weekend I went looking for the nest.

The ruby-throated's nest is less than 2 inches across, so it is like searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack. I'm amazed that she saw it. Talk about having eagle eyes! Despite a long search Sunday I came up empty. Thankfully Bobbi kindly offered to bring me to see it this morning and we had a great experience.

What we at first thought was the adult female sitting in the nest turned out to be two very large nestlings squeezed into the tiny, lichen-covered nest. We watched in amazement as the nest mates preened and dozed. At approximately 10:40am their mother returned with a crop filled with food. In what looked like a bizarre sword-swallowing act, she jammed her long, thin bill down each of her offspring's throats feeding them regurgitated insects, pollen and nectar. The mother does all the work as the male Ruby-throated Hummingbird's responsibility to the family ends after he makes the sperm donation. It's not inconceivable for the female to have a second brood, but let's just hope her two Brooklyn youngsters survive once they fledge.

Here are a couple of videos from this morning.


Yojimbot said...

totally awesome, thanks!!!

Starz723 said...

This is absolutely astounding. Thank you for sharing this wonderful video.


lad1818 said...

That's amazing. I live in Los Angeles and I have a back yard full of hummingbirds, but I've never seen this.

Ann said...

I might be two (2) years late, but those videos are really awesome. I live in Brooklyn, and I started to search to see they actually detour through BKLYN, and this was a great video. Thanks!

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