“Grab your camera and get over here!”
Those were the cryptic words of my friend, Leslie.
Shortly thereafter I arrived at his Quito, Ecuador home in the suburb of Tumbaco, camera in hand. Leslie was waiting outside to ensure that I did not disturb the hummingbird nest in a small tree by his front door.
It was impossible to take photos without approaching the nest and parting a few branches. The mother flew to a nearby perch and watched as we admired the nest and the two eggs lying within. You probably know that a hummingbird is a very small bird, and its nest and eggs are very tiny.
The mother came to trust Leslie’s comings and goings, and his curiosity; eventually not flying away at his or my presence.
Not long after my first visit, the eggs hatched and two chicks made their appearance. You can see the white, bald, head of one. Do you see the second?
The chicks grew rapidly, and their feathers blended into the nest, making them hard to see. Look closely and you will see the beaks sticking up over the side of the nest.
Only days later, one, then the other disappeared to live their own lives.
Leslie’s hummingbird had such confidence in him that she returned some weeks after her first brood left the nest, to lay more eggs and repeat the cycle.
There are over 200 species of hummingbirds in Ecuador and watching any one of them is a joyous occasion. Here are some photos of hummingbirds at the guava tree adjacent to my terrace.
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