Tag Archive | ruby-throated hummingbird

A hummingbird nest

Posted by Matthew Sim

Last year, I discovered a location in Fish Creek P.P. where I found 2 (and possibly all 3 species of hummingbirds that commonly occur in Calgary) nesting. In June, I had found a pair of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and not long afterwards,  Hank Vanderpol and I discovered what appeared to be a female Calliope hummingbird sitting on a nest. A couple weeks later, a Nature Calgary field trip I led to the area discovered a Rufous hummingbird nest not far away.

This year, I was finally able to get out and search for the hummingbirds last week. It took me about an hour before I finally spotted a hummingbird moving about, but always returning close to me. That’s when I realized that this female Ruby-throated Hummingbird (for this is what it was), might have a nest nearby.

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Sure enough, before very long, the female Ruby-throated Hummingbird had flown to her nest which had not been too far away from me the entire time.

At first the nest was tough to spot...

At first the nest was tough to spot…

on nest

It was neat to watch the female as she sat on her nest, presumably incubating eggs. From time to time she would fly off but she was always alert and ready to defend her nest.

RT Hummingbird





Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The most interesting part of watching this hummingbird though was the way she defended her nest from anything she perceived to be a threat, including a confused and startled Cedar Waxwing who twice made the mistake of landing too near the hummingbird’s nest. She swiftly drove the waxwing off despite the fact it probably wasn’t a threat; I suppose one can never be too cautious!

action shot

Returning back to her nest

Returning back to her nest

I will do my best to follow this nest in the coming weeks and see what comes of it. Hoping that the female will successfully raise her brood of young!

My Summer Surprise

Over the many years we’ve lived in this house, I’ve managed to accumulate 105 bird species on my yard list (including those birds seen flying over the house). We have mature trees, shrubs, birdbaths and way too many bird feeders for the ones that touch down.

At least once each summer, I see a quick flash of iridescent green whiz by, generally so fast I can’t identify the individual hummingbird species. I’ve been assuming Ruby-throated, just because the odds are better.

A couple of years ago, we decided to remove a huge chunk of lawn and put in a hummingbird and bee garden. The first flowers that we put in were Scarlet Bee Balm Monarda didyma, a very showy flower that hummers love. All the plants in this garden are perennials, and just grow more glorious each year.

Last week I was sitting on my back deck, watching for any warblers or sparrows that might be passing through, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement in the garden.

A HUMMER! In my hummingbird garden!

I whipped up my binos to see a juvenile Ruby-throated feeding on the bee balm. As I was watching him, I remembered I had my camera on my lap so I fired off a series of pictures. They aren’t really the best but two years ago I didn’t have the garden or a digital camera so I’m happy.

I now judge my hummingbird garden a success. As for the bee portion of my garden, I have enough pictures and video for a full length movie on bees. I may have gotten just a teeny bit carried away, and now I need to find some time to edit all of my efforts. Watch this space!

Posted by Pat Bumstead