Humming Birds Nesting in the Bahamas

In 1974 I took a sequence of pictures of  Humming Birds nesting in a wooded area near the western end of New Providence Island in the Bahamas. The pictures were taken on slide film, and a posting on the uk.rec.birdwatching newsgroup has spurred me to find the slides. Unfortunately I seem to have mis-placed some shots taken before hatching, but here are some shots of the later stages of nesting.

(The slides have deteriorated since they were taken, and  I have not spent time getting the slides free of all dust. As my film scanner is not available at the moment I have used my camera to produce the digital images. When time allows I will endeavour to 'clean up' the images.)

Thanks to Stephen Poley I believe that these Humming Birds are of the species Calliphlox evelynae, Bahama Woodstar. The male, which I didn't photograph, has a shimmering purple/violet throat.

This is the earliest shot I have found, of the female parent feeding chicks that only just appear above the tiny nest.

To give an idea of the size of the nest, if I make a circle between my index finger and my thumb so that the tip of my finger is tucked into the top joint of my thumb, the hole produced was roughly the same as the top of the nest.



By my next visit the chicks had grown appreciably (I'm afraid I cannot remember the timings in the sequence).



This is another image taken at the same time.

The nest was at the side of a track through the woods and I was able to position myself on the other side of the path without disturbing the birds.



By the time I was able to visit again, the chicks had grown tremendously and were clearly close to fledging.

The parents didn't land when feeding them - I failed to get an image of that happening.



A long wait was rewarded when one of the chicks suddenly flicked out its wings and launched itself to a nearby stem.

This picture was taken just as it launched itself for a second time.



The second chick stayed put for a few minutes, looking much more comfortable in the nest now.

Notice how the chicks had been depositing their droppings on the leaf by the side of the nest.



Finally, the second chick decided to leave, this time pausing on a branch long enough for me to get a better picture before heading off into the undergrowth.




Click on the images to see larger versions