Spring is here, and that means your garden is in full bloom. You are probably excited to start trimming your plants and changing the layout of your garden, but beware – you could be endangering unexpected inhabitants!
We all love hummingbirds for their beauty, unique design, and the stunning way they fly. Despite your adoration of these beautiful birds, you might be less familiar with how they nest and what you can do to protect their homes from being destroyed. Luckily, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is here to help.
USFWS is concerned with protecting the ecology of our country. This spring they have sent out an announcement to all nature lovers: “Hummingbird eggs are tiny, about the size of jelly beans! Please remember to carefully check for nests before you trim trees and shrubs this spring.” Sounds simple enough.
If you’ve never seen a hummingbird nest, you are in for a treat. These beautiful bundles of forestry are almost a work of art, and they weigh less than one-tenth of an ounce! Now you understand why you have to actively look for them – they are tiny and easy to miss. These delicate nests are made out of spider webs, moss, and leaves. The female hummingbird likes to design them with bits of lichen to camouflage them from prying eyes. This is an effective tool for hiding from predators, but it also hides the hummingbird’s home from well-meaning humans who might unknowingly hurt them. These tiny marvels look like something out of a fairytale.
How do you know if a hummingbird family is setting up camp near you? They live all over the Americas, so you are likely to stumble across one just about anywhere. Hummingbirds are versatile and build their homes wherever they find the right conditions. They love gardens, especially well-maintained human gardens, because of the comfort these designed spaces offer. Hummingbirds are drawn in with bright, nectar-rich flowers, hummingbird feeders, and bird baths. If you see these fluttering friends, they are probably building a nest somewhere near you.
Hummingbirds are part of the amazing nature found on this planet. They are harmless to humans and bring birdwatchers endless joy. Remember to be mindful of hummingbird nests as you garden this spring. It is all of our responsibility to protect the lovely life in our local ecosystem.
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