Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sunbirds In Our Garden

A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song – Maya Angelou
female sunbird

A little yellow bird flew into our garden in April and started building a nest on one of the beams of our pergola just above our mini fish pond. Day in and day out, it weaved together little twigs, dried leaves, pieces of hair and even plastic string (I wonder where it got that from!). Amazingly, the nest resembled one of the many wind chimes I have in the garden.

I found out from the internet that this little yellow bird was an Olive-backed Sunbird. In the day time it would fly away but would return to the nest in the evenings….somehow reversing in and would sit in there with its long beak sticking out. It didn’t seem afraid of humans so sometimes my hubby and I would go nearer to the nest to have a closer look.

bird in nest
Once in a while, another bird would come by. We researched the internet and found out that the female sunbird was yellow but the male sunbird was a little bigger and its upper body was blue. A few weeks later, we watched the little female sunbird collect more materials to put into the nest. We wondered if it was preparing to lay eggs…

We were quite sure that the nest had eggs because the mommy bird would be in the nest for longer periods of time each day. We tried to take a peek into the nest but it was too dark inside for us to see anything. One day we noticed the nest moving even when the mommy bird was not around. The eggs must have hatched! One or two days later we could hear little chirps coming from the nest. Mommy bird was really busy flying to and fro gathering food to pop into the nest.

One day I saw it!...the little beak of a baby bird sticking out of the nest, opened wide. Mommy bird kept bringing back food and even the daddy bird chipped in to feed the babies. This was really exciting….like watching a ‘Discovery Channel’ program right here in my own garden! I wondered when the little birds would begin to learn to fly…also a little worried because the nest was just above our pond…what if the baby bird fell into the water and became lunch for our carps?! (shudder)
baby bird
see the beak of the baby bird?

We went on a short two-night holiday. When we reached home, we were eager to see the progress of the baby birds… but to our dismay, the nest was empty. Oh no! Looks like we missed the ‘learning-to-fly’ part of the show! The sunbird family had flown away…I wonder if they will ever return?

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