Over the last few summers, we have watched the fervent nest-building activity of the hummingbird population that favors our secluded, lush garden. Their bricolaged nests are small enough to fit in a human child’s hand and are often built on the thinnest branches of a tree where they become invisible to the human eye. Each year, we would stand watch over these nests as soon as the mother bird began her quiet occupancy (in itself, a sight to see) but we never saw any chicks; their birth was becoming as legendary as an elephant’s death.
This year, we left for the three day 4th of July weekend with mom still sitting quietly on her nest. When we returned the following Tuesday, the mom was gone and the nest was empty. We later found out that Steven Eighmey, our plant manager, had stopped by the Institute on July 4th. While most humans were lying on beaches or flipping burgers in backyards, the hummingbirds in our garden were getting ready to leave home.
So here, finally, our first documented graduating class of hummingbirds from the ICI garden.