Hummingbird Nest Cam in Orange County

Hummingbird Nest Cam in Orange County

Alisa Opar
Published: 06/28/2011

Hummingbirds usually flit about, making it difficult to get a close look. For the next couple of days, however, you can get an up-close look at two young Allen's hummingbirds in a nest located in a rosebush in Orange County, California. The birds will likely fledge by the end of the week, so the golf ball-sized nest is looking a little crowded these days.
 
Though still tiny, the birds have grown immensely since hatching from their tic-tac-sized eggs on June 8 and June 9. Their mother, named Phoebe, has nested in the rose bush for several years, and the nest cam has been running since 2007. She lays four to five clutches per season (October-June), and one to two eggs per clutch. The eggs hatch about 17 days after being laid, and the birds fledge three or four weeks later. While in the nest, Phoebe feeds her young regurgitated nectar and insects.
 
Phoebe is a Selasphorus sasin sedentarius, one of two subspecies of Allen's along the Pacific coast. More about these birds, from Audubon WatchList:
 
Allen's have one of the smallest breeding ranges of all U.S. hummingbirds. They breed in a narrow strip along the Pacific coast from southwest Oregon to southern California. Within this range, two subspecies have been identified that have different migratory patterns. Selasphorus sasin sasin breeds across this range and migrates to central Mexico in the states of Mexico, Morelos, and Puebla. S. s. sedentarius is a year-round resident of 6 of the Channel Islands off the southern coast of California and on mainland in the Los Angeles vicinity. The occurrence of breeding S. s. sedentarius on mainland is a recent (20th century) expansion of their range, probably from the nearest island of Santa Catalina. They have since spread north, south, and a short distance inland. The recent colonization of S. s. sedentarius of San Miguel Island mid-20th century may be a recolonization of habitat that was once destroyed by grazing. Additional reasons for range expansion may include increased food supply in winter from gardens, hummingbird feeders, and an increase in nonnative eucalyptus and tree tobacco. The Sur del Valle de Mexico IBA supports Allen's Hummingbirds on their wintering range and the Channel Islands IBA off the California coast supports resident Allen's.

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