Photos: Half Moon Bay Hummingbird Nest Hidden in Plain Sight

Thanks to the sharp eyes of visiting birders, this hummingbird's nest came to my attention recently.

I was entertaining some visiting birders here to see the local when they spotted this hummingbird nest just a few feet away. While it is clearly out in the open, it still takes a trained eye to see.

Hummingbirds use spider web silk to build their nest and secure it to a branch. This nest includes the moss hanging from the same tree. The silk is flexible and allows for the nest to expand as the young grow. If all goes well, I'll soon have pictures of nestlings.

Suzanne Black April 28, 2011 at 03:07 PM
Looks like Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna; it's the most common hummingbird locally.
Laura C. Strom April 28, 2011 at 04:23 PM
Stuart, thank you for the exquisite pictures!
Susan Guarino April 28, 2011 at 07:37 PM
The tree looks like a Pittosporum tobira. Lots of these around the coast.
Stuart Nafey April 29, 2011 at 06:03 AM
Thanks everyone. That sounds right regarding the hummingbird and the tree. What about all that moss? The tree is in a fairly shady spot most of the day.
Avis Boutell April 29, 2011 at 01:42 PM
I think that the "moss" is really a lichen--Usnea, commonly called "Old Man's Beard" or "Beard Lichen."
Cid April 30, 2011 at 06:43 PM
Here is a cool video taken with special equipment to capture the fast-moving birds. http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=hjnc1kHMDDo&feature=player_embedded Incidentally, The Half Moon Bay Graden Club will have a presentation on Creating a Back-yard Bird Habitat by a local expert, Jim Howard, District Conservationist for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service see http://www.hmbgarden.com for more details
Stuart Nafey May 01, 2011 at 08:07 AM
Thanks Avis. It does look a bit like my beard.
Stuart Nafey May 01, 2011 at 08:12 AM
Thanks Cid. That lecture on Creating Back-yard Bird Habitats is May 9, 7pm at the the Canada Cove Club House. It's on my calendar.
Cid May 01, 2011 at 05:46 PM
Great! Sounds like you will have lots in common with the speaker, who happens to live in Sea Havem and is quite knowlegeable! -Cid
Kristine Wong May 01, 2011 at 10:38 PM
Thanks for sharing the upcoming event and the link to the documentary, Cid. Amazing footage. I loved the part when the filmmaker described them as superheroes. Looking forward to seeing the film in its entirety.


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