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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Nest

Have you ever wanted to see a hummingbird nest?  There is one at Haverford College that is easy to view and close to the parking lot.  Kristen and I discovered it on May 14 when the female was still nest-building.  As of June 6, the female is feeding young but still brooding.

Here are the directions:
Park in the South (Visitor’s) Lot at the back left edge.  Walk straight across the grass in front of you and take the nature trail to the left, staying right when the path forks.  At the edge of the road to the other back parking lot and the Haverford College Apartments, there is a blue recycling can.  Stop on the paved path behind the can and look left to the large oak tree across the road.  Line yourself up so that you, the blue can, and the trunk of the big oak tree are all in a straight line.  Follow the trunk up to the first horizontal branch that goes right.  Then take the first left, a vertical branch that goes up to the next smallish right branch that comes out toward you.  Where this branch splits into two parts, one which is more or less straight and the other which takes a little dip, look for the nest cup atop the straight part.  The orange arrows in the photo below will guide you to the nest location indicated by the red arrow.

Depending on your exact position, and that of the leaves blown by the wind, the nest may be partly obscured, but with binoculars it is easy to find if you know where to look.  In the photo below, you can see the female’s tail sticking out the right side of the nest.  A scope will enhance your view but isn’t necessary.  Now that she is sitting on the edge of the cup to feed the young, she will be easier to see.

Note that if you are entering observations into ebird, you are in the DelCo portion of the campus, so please use the Haverford College (Delaware County) marker, even though that marker is in the pinetum.  [By contrast, the pond and adjacent field are in Montgomery County.]

Have fun and enjoy watching our littlest bird.

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