Watch a Hummingbird Guard Her Egg, Live!

Thanks to Evan (read his blog here) for posting the fascinating live stream of a Channel Island Allen hummingbird in Orange County, California named Phoebe guarding two tiny eggs in her nest. The webcam’s owner has filmed Phoebe for about three years laying eggs and taking care of the baby birds as they hatch. Phoebe has been observed for at least seven years in the area. I kept this video up in the corner of my laptop while I worked today. And while I love wildlife and nature, this is far more riveting than I was expecting.

At the beginning of today, there were two eggs in Phoebe’s nest, and one had a couple of holes in it. At mid-afternoon, I was surprised to see a lizard (who looks giant from our zoomed-in point of view, but probably isn’t) repeatedly approach the nest trying to make off with an egg. Phoebe dive-bombed him until he gave up (or at least slunk off camera). Soon afterwards, she grabbed the cracked egg — which many were beginning to speculate wasn’t viable — in her beak, and flew off with it. I (and many others) think she probably removed it because it was dead, and the smell may have been attracting predators. Now there’s just the one egg which others think may not hatch due to its color. I have no idea if it will or not, but Phoebe is a gorgeous sight to see up close like this. My mother’s garden is often alive with hummingbirds in the spring and summer (which don’t seem even remotely afraid of humans, coming right up to your face), so this is a treat to see one still for a change. Periodically, the video will go offscreen for a bit and broadcast slides instead, and I believe it’s taken off air when it’s dark (either way, you can’t see anything). (Farther down on Phoebe’s page, there are past videos of her including some from earlier today.) I’m going to check back tomorrow and see what’s up with Phoebe’s remaining egg. If anything, the commentary from other, more obsessive viewers may keep you amused:

9:22 twopurple: OliO pls get this fixed ASAP – want to see Phoeb before dark to kiss gdnite
9:23 ejholt: Good grief, lol

More information, and the link to Phoebe’s Ustream: The Buzz About Hummingbirds

Update 10:00 PM: It’s still up with one egg and “Phoebs” nowhere in sight at the moment. It will probably go dark on the West Coast pretty soon.

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