Impatiently Waiting for Daylight

I’m checking in on Phoebe 2-3 times a day now since the babies are due to leave the nest before too long.  I’m not sure exactly when it will happen but I hope I don’t miss it.  It was dark this morning when I first checked in, too dark to see what was going on at the ole nest.

Nest Cam for Phoebe

In case you’re just hearing about Phoebe, she’s a Channel Island Allen hummingbird, residing in Orange County, California and quite possibly the best little hummingbird mommy in the world.  She’s definitely the most famous!

Hummingbird Nest with Baby 6

When I first heard about Phoebe, one baby had hatched and folks were eagerly awaiting the second egg.  The other egg never hatched so it was eventually removed from the nest.

Hummingbird Nest with Baby 3

In another town about 20 minutes away, a gardener trimmed a bush with a hummingbird nest in it, not realizing the nest was there.  The nest was placed back in the bush but the mother hummingbird wouldn’t return to it.  The baby was brought to Orange Country where Phoebe lives and placed in her nest.

Baby hummingbird added to nest

Phoebe noticed the new addition as soon as she arrived back at the nest and she immediately fed the new baby.  

Phoebe feeds new baby

You can watch the video of the baby being added to Phoebe’s nest here:


In this screen shot captured this morning, it’s obvious things are getting pretty snug.  That’s a good indication it won’t be too many more days before someone flies the coop.  From time to time you’ll see them preening their wings, pulling off the keratin sheaths (pin feathers) covering their wing feathers.  Those have to come off before they can leave the nest.  Underneath the pin feathers are the soft feathers we’re used to seeing on birdies.

Hummingbird Nest with babies on 3-20-13

Phoebe stops in regularly to feed the babies.  Hummingbird babies eat a combination of bugs and nectar that’s been partially broken down by Mom into something their little bodies can handle.

Phoebe feeding her babies

I noticed after Phoebe left, her pressing down on the babies when she fed them kind of helped pushed the baby that had been up and somewhat out of the nest, back down into the nest.  He had been standing up nice and tall earlier in the morning, doing his morning wingercizing (exercising his wings.)  Yep, that’s what they call it.  I’ve been learning some new words the last couple of weeks while checking in on the babies occasionally.  The folks who watch the webcam and chat back and forth are some of the nicest folks and though I haven’t joined in their conversation, I’ve enjoyed reading their commentary and have learned a lot.

Hummingbird babies in their nest

After Phoebe finished feeding the babies and left in search of more food, the baby on the left decided to do a little wingercizing of his own.   That’s what the blurriness is all about in the pic below.  It’s amazing how fast a hummingbird can flap their wings!


For now they are all settled back down, snuggling, sleeping, eating and growing like weeds.  It won’t be long now.

Hummingbird Babies Snuggled in Nest


I’ll leave you with this cute video of Phoebe in the early days catching a snack as it was flying by.  Think of it as room service. 🙂

If you would like to check in on Phoebe from time to time, you’ll find her and the babies here: Hummingbird Nest Cam
I’m off to work on an Easter/Spring table setting for Tablescape Thursday. Happy Birdwatching!

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  1. Those babies are so big now! Those beaks scare me. When you think how tiny and perfect they are it’s amazing. I look at them couple of times a day.

  2. Sandi Lee says:

    So interesting. I am watching some little bird on my back porch as well. She seems to be gone all day and sits up on a corner post at night. Have not been able to see her in enough light to know what species she is. Will try to get some pics and send them to you-tiny little nest-really don’t know how she sits there.

  3. Room service, how cute is that!!! Oh, how I ‘ve enjoyed this post so much, how beautiful and simple is nature……thank you!!!

  4. Amazing story, thanks for sharing. Watching hummingbirds is my favorite pastimes at the lake. I can’t wait to keep an eye on Phoebe from time to time.

  5. Oh this is the cutest thing. I love your post and the hummingbirds are adorable. I have a pair that come every summer to my nectar feeder and I love to watch them. They are so tiny and quick but so beautiful to watch. I always keep flowers in my garden and I see them hanging out there too. Thanks for sharing Phoebe’s story with us.

  6. So cute. You’ve got me hooked on this little bird too. I love their nest, such a difference between dove nests.

  7. Susan, I so enjoyed this!

    Went to the cam too- they’re already bigger – y ep, won’t be long now at all – no room at the inn!

    Thanks, my hubs watched with me – we have (and adore) hummingbirds. Our favorite is a green one.

    Happy first day of spring to you!


  8. Susan DeRosia says:

    Phoebe is my new hero, she is so precious. The photography is amazing. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Oh, how remarkably sweet!

  10. That was amazing! Thank you for posting it, I truly enjoyed watching the beauty that God creates!

  11. I love watching this unfold. They are so precious. We had alot of hummingbirds at the old house, hope we get them here too. XO, Pinky

  12. How beautiful! Such an amazing thing to witness–thank you so much for sharing this!

  13. They appear to be such fragile little creatures and as well, adorably sweet. -Brenda-

  14. I just got done showing my 6 year old son the video. It was the neatest thing to watch! Thank you for sharing this special event!

  15. When I think about how tiny a hummingbird is, then about how small their eggs and babies must be…I am in awe! I just can’t help but marvel at the intricacy of God’s creation! Watching Phoebe feed that tiny little adopted birdie was so sweet. Thanks for sharing this adventure, Susan! ~LuAnn

  16. I started watching since your original posting and can not how big these little guys have gotten! They are so cute and Phoebe is beautiful. Thanks for bringing thsi to my attention as I have very much enjoyed watching!

  17. oh my word… what a sweet story and sweet mama bird! I haven’t heard this story and will for sure check out the site. thanks for sharing about it. Little Bit

  18. I just love little Phoebe! She is such a honey! You may want to check out the MN Bound eagle cam. Mom and Dad are sitting on two eggs right now. That nest is amazing too!

  19. Susan, thanks so much for telling us about this (addictive!) website and for posting some great video of the site. I too have become a regular viewer and can’t wait to see the little fellahs fly. Pheobe is such a good little mom, and watching the babies snuggle with each other is more relaxing than watching a fish tank. Ha! –Lucinda

  20. I love hummingbirds! Thanks for sharing this.

  21. Oh my word!! That’s just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen! She just kinda looked at and probably though ‘I don’t know who you are or where you came from, but what the heck’! Nature is truly amazing!

  22. Susan, thanks so much for posting about this webcam. I have been loving watching these babies grow. I will be so sad when they are gone.

  23. What a beautiful thing to find on your blog (which is not unusual)! I love this and I live in Orange County and had not heard this story! Love it! Thank you for sharing this webcam. Welcome Spring!!

  24. Amazing!! I think you should send this to Birds and Blooms magazine
    Thanks for sharing

  25. Cheryl Gordon says:

    Today is first day of fledge watch for Phoebe’s babies. Another long running site is World of Hummingbirds on upstream. Waiting for Tink’s 2 eggs to hatch.

  26. Oh gosh, thanks so much for posting about this. I watched a mom and pop robin through the nesting phase a couple of years ago – they were right outside the door in the housing I was staying in in WI. Fascinating! Watching them grow, and eventually fledge was a glorious experience. And more than a bit of a nail biter!


  27. Is the film clip available to watch the babies leaving the nest?

  28. I love wathcing Phoebe every year. The Decorah eagles are also fascinating!

  29. I love humming birds. They are soo sweet. Thank s for sharing this and I’m so glad the baby made it.

  30. I just came across this beautiful post about Phoebe, Fleur and Pip! I have been a Phoebe “phan” for almost 2 years so reading your post about this special adoption that took place in March 2013 brought back those special memories and moved me to happy tears. Thank you so much for posting this BNOTP!

  31. Oh Susan, this is amazing and WONDERFUL!!! Thanks so much for sharing this!!

  32. Oh Susan thank you so much for that post. I have been feeding about 10 hummers since spring. Then a few days before Christmas the amount doubled. I left food with the house sitter and she filled them up before she left Tuesday evening and when I came home Thursday afternoon they were all gone and the feeders were empty. 2 are still here and the red breasted one is so mean to the other one. The rest have not come back – hope they just stopped in on their way to Mexico. I sure miss them. I emailed to the link that you posted maybe they have some information for me. I was filling up 2 large feeders every other day. I never spent so much money on sugar in my life LOL.
    Have a terrific week Susan.

    • Wow! That’s amazing! I’m surprised they stayed. That’s a lot of nectar they were going through! 🙂 They’ll be back, Mary! They never forgot where they found food. When I forget to hang my feeder from my outdoor chandelier in early spring, I’ll look out one day and find my hummingbirds circling around and around the chandelier, confused about where it is. That reminds me, I want to put it out early this spring so it will be there when they return.

  33. Susan-
    What a beautiful post. Thanks so much for sharing it.
    We had a birds nest this spring on our neighbors front door wreath, it was so amazing watching the eggs hatch and the baby’s grow.
    We even got to see them fly for the first time.
    What a miracle nature is.
    Thanks again

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