What kind of mother abandons her babies?
This isn’t how I wanted the story to end.
I like stories that end in happiness and joy, and now I have no idea what went wrong, what happened.
Is there something I could have done? I would have helped her; I’m a fixer, I like to take care of animals. And people.
Mom built a great nest, laid one egg, and I kept waiting for the next one but it never came. For a while, all was good, she sat on the nest daily and I made sure that I didn’t bother her just in case she liked privacy.
Mom hasn’t been around for about three days. The one little egg is still in the nest. I’m sure it’s not viable at this point. I wonder why she disappeared. Did she get attacked by a predator? Did her instincts tell her that there was something wrong with the egg and it shouldn’t be born?
We’ll never know, but it triggered my own issues with abandonment and not having answers to painful experiences or not being able to render aid.
It’s not natural for mothers of any species to abandon their children. It goes against all the laws of nature and psychology and maternal bonding. Sadly, in humans, abandonment leaves the children to deal with “mother wounds”; significant emotional, mental and psychological aftereffects.
However, on the bright side (which is where I like to live), there’s a Vireo successfully nesting; she comes back every single year. So far, she’s had about one hundred babies born out of the same little seashell bird house nestled in the ficus tree.
April 26, 2020
Hummingbirds typically lay two eggs; jellybean ovals of white porcelain perfection, and so far I see the first one!
To give you a size comparison, most hummingbird nests are 1.5 – 2 inches in diameter, roughly the size of a ping pong ball.
It’s been five long years since I’ve been lucky enough to be chosen by a hummingbird as a sanctuary site to build her nest on one of my windchimes.
The last time it was built on hummingbird chimes (very witty, mama hummy, very witty) and this time it’s butterfly chimes, but in the same exact location right outside the kitchen window.
Mama works pretty much around the clock bringing feathers and spider webs and other soft little bits and pieces glued together with her own birdy poop.
I’ll update as the nest grows and mom lays her two precious eggs:
Hummingbird posts from 2015:
I need to finish the last bits of my empowering road trip, but first must share sad, sad news.
When I woke up this morning, the first thing I did (as always) was to check on the baby hummingbirds.
They have grown so much and by my calculations, would be fledging the nest next week.
I took this picture on Sunday.
When I didn’t see two little heads bobbing up and down and squirming around, I opened the back door and saw this empty nest.
The chimes upon which the nest was built was in disarray and a feeling of dread washed over me.
I knew something bad had happened, but couldn’t find any clues to suggest who or what had attacked the nest.
I had one last hope; that the two babies were in the mulberry tree that shades the deck, and were only trying out their new wings.
But then mom flew by and sat on the nest looking all around.
She was as confused as I was.
Calling out to her babies, I could feel her distress.
Over the course of the morning, she’s flown back no less than a dozen times, looking everywhere for her children, which confirms my worst fear that they were abducted by a raccoon or a crow or even a hawk.
But this story gets worse.
As I climbed on the bench to peer inside the empty nest and to snap a pic, I positioned the nest/chimes with my hand to get a better angle.
When I went back in the house to sit down and email tugboat man the tragic news, I saw tiny little creatures crawling on my hand.
I HAD BIRD MITES ON ME.
After washing my hands and arms more times than Lady Macbeth and dousing my entire upper body with rubbing alcohol, I took a boiling hot shower and scrubbed myself and my hair three times.
The mere thought of a creature in my hair and I knew my life would be OVER. Thick, long, curly hair is hard enough to deal with, but the thought of mites nesting up there provokes extreme mental anxiety.
I threw away the shirt I was wearing and washed the other clothes twice in bleach and hot water, so much bleach that they’re now completely devoid of color at this point.
Then I freaked out that the mites were going to invade the house and with gloves on, cut down the nest and chimes and put them into a sealed bag to put in the trash or somehow keep the chimes if I can sterilize them to my satisfaction.
After that, I found ant spray (the only chemicals around) and sprayed every possible surface on the deck and the eaves where the chimes/nest had been.
Bird mite infestations from nests is a real thing. There are horror stories on the internet about it.
I wonder how long the feeling that things are crawling on me is going to last?
I’m a clean freak ANYWAY, but this is pushing me over the edge, and hub is out of cell range and not available to calm me down and/or offer his sage advice.
An empty nest is bad enough. To be violently snatched from a warm bed in the middle of the night is every mother’s nightmare.
I don’t know what to say to the hummy mom.
Even now, she’s desperately searching for her babies and there’s no way I can tell her that they’re gone forever.
Her heartache is palpable. I can FEEL her pain.
Hub and I fell in love with the whole process, from watching mom build the nest to laying the jellybean sized eggs to watching them hatch and grow.
This is not the ending I could have predicted.
She’s extremely distraught; even as I’m typing this, I still hear her calling to them.
Who said animals don’t feel things?
Because of course they do.
A mother’s love has no equal.
I feel like I let down mom down, that she trusted me to help her take care of her precious kids, and I failed miserably.
One of my favorite photos…
Sometimes Mother Nature sucks.
June 1 SUCKS.
Our very own full nest.
#hummingbird #nature #nestingbirds #birds #MotherNature #love #motherslove
Everybody needs some bliss; especially ME when tugboat man comes home unexpectedly and then even more shocking, gets a call to return to work WHILE WE’RE DRIVING HOME FROM THE AIRPORT!
It’s not unheard of in the maritime world, but I’ve not really experienced it until now.
Glass half full; we had an enjoyable one-and-a-half days. Thirty-six hours is better than nothing.
It’s important to stay positive and present in the moment, rather than dwelling on the injustice, which would be a waste of time, and TIME is precious.
So he’s gone again and it’s time for a little bliss in the form of Mother Nature.
Breathe deeply and OMMMMMM….
The ultimate blissful event is the birth of one of my resident hummingbird’s eggs; you can BARELY see a miniature fluffy speck huddled in the bottom of the nest.
And JUST NOW, the second egg hatched! Could anything be more amazing than Mother Nature?
Here’s an update: Pretty good close up video of the two newborn hummingbirds:
Ending with the B is for Bliss theme, a boat birdhouse.
At least THIS boat is firmly anchored and will stay in one place, right?
Tugboat man should be home for sure at the end of June; at that point he’ll have been out to sea for more than ninety days when it was only supposed to be for six weeks.
Such is the life of a tugboat captain’s wife.
PS All photos, unless otherwise noted, are property of EnchantedSeashells.
It started raining in the middle of the night, so hard it woke me up.
Rain, wind, five inches of snow in our local mountains — is this May or is it December?
I was worried about my little hummingbird and her full nest.
How would they weather the storm?
First thing this morning, I looked out the kitchen window and there she is, swaying back and forth on the hummingbird wind chimes under the eaves, safe and dry.
See the rain coming down? What a smart mom to choose a home that’s protected from the elements and allows her to survey the entire back yard.
There is no more important job than caring for her young.
Soon enough, they’ll hatch and grow and fly away, leaving her with that empty nest she worked so hard to build.
Maybe that’s what her tiny little hummingbird mind ponders as she sits there hour after hour.
And I know exactly how she feels.
Anyone participating in World Naked Gardening Day?
Well, I’m not either, that’s for sure.
I’m moving furniture, shampooing carpets, channeling Cinderella, and obsessing over the only full nest at Casa de Enchanted Seashells.
My little yummy hummy mummy is doing what most animals do naturally — be an attentive and protective mother.
In the late afternoon sunlight, I removed the screen in the dining room window and leaned all the way out to capture the iridescence.
Have you ever seen a hummingbird stay almost perfectly still for more than two minutes?
I set up the tripod and took some video of her nest sitting, blinking her little eyes, and swaying in the breeze.
There’s a bit of shake (sorry) but the tripod was in a precarious position on top of a bench in order to get the best angle.
When she first started building the nest, I waited until she flew away in order to reinforce the chimes with twine to make sure they’d support the extra weight and not fall down,
(And congrats to Princess Kate for giving birth to a royal little girl! )
Single status: Day 50
Yup, tugboat man’s been gone since March 10.
I’ve almost forgotten what he looks like, and if he didn’t make a brief satellite call once a week, I’d forget what his voice sounds like, too.
This is the transitional time for absentee spouses.
The initial missing of his constant presence is OVER, life goes on, and my own routine is firmly established.
It looks like he should be home in about two weeks or so, PROBABLY missing my birthday, but in time to go camping with son/DIL, which is my birthday present, so I don’t mind being alone on my bday if it means he’s for sure home for the celebration.
Isn’t this the craziest thing?
Do you think my little hummingbird KNOWS where she is?
Can’t stop taking pics; look at that beautiful color.
Isn’t this amazing?
Mom doesn’t mind when I walk back and forth or get up close and personal for pics, but she’s so protective of her nest when another bird flies into her personal space.An egg!! There are supposed to be two; waiting for the next one!
Hummingbird sitting on hummingbird nest on hummingbird chimes.
Could anything be more adorable?
Who needs a dumb old tugboat man when this magic is inches away?