Tag Archive | hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird ~ Archilochus colubris

These were taken last fall, by my hubby. We had just gotten the new easy camera, a Nikon Coolpix, however still needed to figure out how to use it. Lucky for us, the neighboring camp host had a plethora of bird feeders for us to shoot birds at. I love hummers! They are such unique birds. We were very blessed to see one nesting above our camper last summer.

I hope the new feeder I received as a gift brings more of them to my house. Although I’ve never gotten any remotely clear shots of them in my front yard, I do get many of them visiting. I have planted many tubular flowers that are in the red ranges of color, a favorite of theirs.

For now, I know it’s a bit early for these beauties to be up here in Northern Illinois… I’ll just refer to my migration map and be ready for their arrival!!


© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Hummingbird Nest

While we were camping at Illinois State Beach, we noticed a hummingbird  coming and going into the tree above our camper. After a lot of searching, we finally noticed the nest above our camper, with one baby in it. The nest was well hidden and mom was smart and used two cones of the Scots pine for the base.

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Male hummingbirds don’t help the female build the nest (or helps at all, really) and she will spend several hours a day for week collecting materials to build her nest. The most common nesting materials found in hummingbird nests include:

  • Cotton fibers
  • Moss and lichen
  • Plant down from thistles, dandelions or cattails
  • Small bits of bark or leaves
  • Feathers
  • Fuzz, fur or hairs from leaves
  • Spider silk

These materials are intertwined into a dense cup that is decorated with moss, lichen and other local materials for camouflage. The edge of the cup is curved inward to protect the eggs and the spider silk gives the nest it elasticity to enlarge as the babies grow.

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Help hummers build heir nests by planting clematis, honeysuckle, milkweed (Asclepia) and blanket flower (Gaillardia). Pasque flowers offer both soft foliage with silken hairs and mid-spring flowers followed by fuzzy seedpods.

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Hummingbird eggs are no bigger than navy beans. Most females lay two eggs, which they will incubate for about 15 – 18 days. Juvenile hummingbirds will leave the nest about 18 to 27 days after hatching.

A neighbor of the hummingbird was a chipping sparrow, with one egg.


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

My Autumn Hummingbird

Last spring, I put out a hummingbird feeder for the first time ever. I washed and refilled the feeder at regular intervals. Watched diligently, as it is positioned directly above my monitor at work. I basically have 8 hours a day to wait and enjoy the hummingbirds.

And I waited.

And I waited.

And I waited….

Finally, last week my peripheral vision caught something… no way!

And there she was. So small and perfect. I sure hope she travels safely to her winter home. I would also love to see her return for a visit.


Glad she sat. My camerone doesn’t have a chance of catching her in flight.


I didn’t have too many yellowjackets bugging the feeder, however she buzzed them off whenever they came near.

© Ilex – Midwestern Plants