The chicks with their tiny beaks sticking out of the nest.
This nest has been built by a hummingbird sometime in 2003. And every 2 years another or perhaps the same hummingbird comes back; renovates it, and lay eggs--usually 2. We at home kept track of the activity of the mother hen and watched the progress of the chicks. With excitement we would watch the mother as she feeds them, thrusting her long beak into her chicks' open mouths. There would come a time when she doesn't sit in the nest anymore, but would come every few hours to feed them. We watched the activity through our kitchen window as the nest was only 10 or 15 feet away, hanging on the trellis beam. The nest was built on my parol made of seashells.
The parol with the nest gone.
Photo taken from my kitchen window.
I went to the patio and found the nest laying flat on the concrete slab floor. Some seashells were strewn on the floor; the chicks gone, perhaps eaten by whatever attacked it. I felt so bad, feeling the pain of a mother losing her young ones. How could this have happened? In the past the chicks made it through, they flew away when they were strong enough. We have moved the ladder, which we used to take a peek at the eggs, away from the nest so it would be safe from any predator. Looking around, investigating I saw a broom stick I left at the other side of the wall, and it was slanted somehow. The culprit must have walked up the broom handle (a pole about 1 1/2" in diameter) alongside the wall and pawed on the nest until it fell to the floor. I felt so guilty, that I was responsible for the demise of the little hummers. Ooohhh...guilt...guilt...guilt.
Mother hen mourning her loss.
After about an hour or so mother hen came back. She landed on the parol and she was hunched, she was mourning the loss of her little ones.
All that was left of the nest was this...witness to the killing.