Nesting: Hummingbirds

Last summer began my garden fascination with hummingbirds. They were coming to my yard often enough that this year I decided to purposefully provide food and flowers for hummingbirds. A class at the Idaho Botanical Garden indicated that only five of the hundreds of hummingbirds will be seen in the state. I’ve seen three of them at my feeder this year.

Hummingbirds provide moments of magic each time I see them. Mesmerized by their flight and their feeding, I can watch for the minutes that they stay without looking away.

Recently, a group of researchers gathered in the Idaho mountains to briefly, harmlessly capture hummingbirds to measure, weigh, and assess body features. The researchers also band the legs of birds with identification numbers, if the birds are not already banded. Each identification number is tracked in a national scientific database that creates greater understanding of the birds, migrations, growth rates and more. The tiny leg bands do not hurt the birds and can be read and recorded by other researchers.

The research event allowed us to feel the heartbeat of the tiny hummingbird, which was amazing. Watching event-attending adults and children experience the joys of learning about hummingbirds was exhilarating. The concentration on recording details for each hummingbird was inspiring. The day I observed, over two dozen hummingbirds were studied. Some days the research team interacts with as many as 170 birds in one research area.

Whether researching, or garden-watching the hummingbirds, they bring incredible wonder and joy to the day. Hummingbirds remind us to be hopeful. They provide magical moments to pause, be quiet and breathe more deeply. Hummingbirds are a part of my nesting experiences – for many years to come I hope.

Nesting is about the world inside the walls of our homes and about the worlds found in our yards and gardens too. What worlds are in your yard? What do you want to be in your yard and garden?

      Nesting is about the objects and experiences that create a sense of home. Without home, it is difficult to maintain health, find joy, or to be productive during our workdays. Enjoy the Nesting series of blogs on your search for a deep sense of home. –Jana

Jana Kemp

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