Alley's Photo Album http://gallery.me.com/larockdisk#100063
THE SHORT STORY This Allen Hummingbird nest was found on May 25th with 2 eggs. We believe the eggs were laid between the 23rd and 25th but are not sure. We have named her Alley and have names for the Chicks when they hatch. The nest is located in our backyard in Orange County, California. The yard is up against an alley so there is is a lot of action on the other side of the gate behind the nest. Cars, kids, dogs, gardeners and more. Alley has picked a sheltered area for this nest and it is well hidden in the leaves.
THE LONG STORY In April 2009 I went into my backyard and found my 2 dogs wide eyed and nervous looking into the bushes. They had found a hummer chick that was not quite ready to fledge. I could not find a nest but the mother was still feeding him. Over the next few days this little guy was quite adventurous. We would find him all over the backyard, on furniture, bushes and steps. He finally got himself into trouble by climbing into a reed plant and got stuck. We noticed the mother's commotion but could not find little "Peep" anywhere (his new name because that is all he did –– Peep). Finally after an hour or so, his mother left and did not come back. We thought they may have fledged, but something did not feel right. I started at one end of the plant and pulled off every long reed until I finally found Peep. He was in trouble and had not eaten in well over two hours and did not move. We force fed him and 45 minutes later his eyes opened and we heard his wonderful "peep". We were so happy, we left him outside all day checking on him and feeding him, but his mom was now gone. We took him to a rehab in the area where we found out he was an Allen's. He did great and was fine and able to fledge.
This started my love of hummingbirds, 5 feeders later I noticed we only had Anna's around the yard. Not once over the entire year did I see an Allen's. In March 2010 we noticed a nest high in one of our trees, we were so excited and it was an Allen's -– the first we had seen since Peep. We thought there was a good chance she could be Peeps mom. She laid two eggs, but the nest was very visible and unfortunately a crow got to the eggs. I had been looking into setting up a cam and found Phoebe's site in the process (great story).
On May 22nd we noticed the old nest was being destroyed. We watched and saw our girl taking pieces of it away. She had built a new nest using some of the old material. We found the nest finally on May 25th with 2 eggs. Since then, we have noticed a male (we believe he is an Anna's) that hangs out by Alley and chases off any birds getting close to her. We call him Jasper. Her tolerance for him is comical–you will often hear him screaming in the yard