Thursday, May 14, 2009

Babies have hatched!!

Yesterday, we noticed Esmerelda behaving differently. She'd fly off for feedings more frequently and when she returned, she would sit up on the edge of the nest and poke her beak around inside the nest. I suspected that the eggs were hatching, so I waited for her to fly off again and then quickly moved over to the nest and held my camera above it, pointing down into the nest. This is what I saw: one baby had emerged from the shell. Look closely and you can see it's tiny orange beak.

Here she is feeding the baby.

This morning, while my pal Debi was visiting, Esmerelda flew off again. Debi ran inside and grabbed my step stool so we could climb up and have a peak. And there were now 2 babies! She will continue to sit on them to regulate their body temperature until they get real feathers, about 2 weeks. They'll stay in the nest another week while trying out their wings. They have very short beaks right now - probably a good thing since mama is still sitting on them and, of course, feeding them frequently. She collects nectar and bugs, makes a slurry of it and then regurgitates it into the babies' mouths. Their beaks will grow as they get feathers. It's really a thrill to be able to watch this process up close.


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