Where Do Your Hummingbirds Nest?

I have a couple of Anna’s hummingbirds that make their home year round near my home. Every day, I receive

I have a couple of Anna’s hummingbirds that make their home year round near my home.

Every day, I receive multiple visits .  The male visits first and then once he leaves, the female shows up for a drink.

Anna's Hummingbird at my kitchen window.

Sometimes if nearby movement frightens one away from the feeder, it rests on my Cascalote tree, which is just a few feet away.

I like to imagine that the female hummingbird has built her nest up in my tree.  I have even scanned the tree with binoculars, but to no avail.  I have not spotted a nest in that tree.  But, she still may have built her nest in my garden.  I have large flowering shrubs and many other trees that would make a great home for a hummingbird family.

When you think about it, it is good that it is so hard to find a hummingbird’s nest.  The more hidden it is, the safer it is from predators.  Now, just because I haven’t spotted any hummingbird nests in my garden, does not mean that I have not seen them in other places.  In fact, I have seen some very well hidden and some that are in some strange places (including on top of a wind chime).  As a child, we had a hummingbird family nest in our backyard lemon tree and my grandparents had a nest in their Hibiscus shrub.

Hummingbird nest in a large potted Ficus by a front door.

As you can see from the photo above, their nests are made up of a combination of spiderwebs, leaves, lichen and  plant fibers.  The composition of the nests has to do with what plant material is nearby.  Hummingbirds are known to use dryer lint and cotton balls in constructing their nests as well.  Their nests are tiny and are approximately the size of half a walnut shell, which makes it easy to miss them.

Female hummingbirds like to build their nests in a secure area that is somewhat protected from wind (so high winds won’t blow the babies out of the nest).  Also leafy protection on the top is also desirable to keep the nest cool.   You will usually find the nest nestled in a crotch or crossed branches for support.  Female hummingbirds are known to ‘borrow’ nesting materials from each other without asking 😉

Last spring, we noticed some hummingbird activity going on in an nearby tree.  As we looked closer, we saw a brown mass in the tree…

Hummingbird nest under construction

As you look more closely, you can see that they incorporated some leaves in the base.

**If you are fortunate enough to see a hummingbird nest, don’t get too close and stay a safe distance away.  But, go ahead and take a photo using your zoom lens 🙂

I am still hopeful that I will someday discover a hummingbird nest in my garden.  Meanwhile, I am very thankful that I am able to enjoy their antics 12 months out of the year in my Southwest garden.

Photo: Miksmith

But, if I ever find a hummingbird nest in my garden, I’ll be sure to share it with you all….

**How about you?  Have you ever seen a hummingbird nest?  Where did you find it?  Was it in your garden?  Please share your experience with us!

Noelle Johnson
Noelle Johnson is a horticulturist and certified arborist who lives and gardens in the desert Southwest. When she is not writing or helping other people with their gardens, you can find her growing fruits and vegetables, and planting flowering shrubs and maybe a cactus or two.