Rock-a-bye baby

| A hummingbird in the family way has chosen my patio for her nest.

I first noticed her a couple of weeks ago, humming around the patio and repeatedly perching atop the wind chimes. Then I noticed that she was carrying wisps of dried grass each time she returned and fussing with them to little apparent effect, poking around with her long slender beak. Gradually I realized she was bent on making a nest.

What kind of a bird-brain tries to build a nest on a wind chime? I couldn't imagine how this effort could possibly be successful. Surely the cross-pieces at the top were not wide enough to serve as a foundation for a stable nest. Surely the motion and sound of the wind chimes would discourage her. Surely it would take forever to build any kind of nest one blade of grass at a time.

Wrong. The nest is now apparently finished, suspended between two arms of the bracket. There must be eggs in it. She flies away every now and then, but soon returns to snuggle into the nest, where she sits staring up at the ceiling.

On second thoughts, maybe it makes sense. The nest is safe from any marauding animal and almost completely ought of sight of other birds. And hummingbirds are pretty fearless, so people on the patio don't seem to bother her.

A terrible wind-storm is roaring through the valley today, gusting up to 50 mph, they say. The awning is flapping, and the chimes are swinging wildly to and fro, chiming loudly. Whatever she used to adhere the nest to the metal chime seems to be holding. Meanwhile, Mrs Hummingbird sits serenely on her nest.

Afterword. And a fierce storm it was. During brunch at Elmer's we watched the wind dismantle the big Elmer's sign next to the street and blow it away. Coming out of Elmer's after brunch, I was nearly decapitated by a palm frond flying through the air. When I got home I discovered that the roof of one of the neighboring condos had taken flight and smashed into one of ours, partially knocking down the patio wall. And of course the pool furniture was in the pool, and one of the new umbrellas — put up just yesterday — was crumpled.

Last updated on Apr 13, 2018



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