Along West Channel Pond Loop Trail, 1/10 of a mile north of Rocky River Nature Center is an active ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) nest! The lichen-lined nest is well camouflaged in a maple tree beside the east wing of the loop trail, well over 20 feet from the forest floor.
The male and female were observed hovering about the nest August 1. By August 4, only the female remained. She is now (August 5) stationed on the nest, likely incubating 1-3 eggs. The male has begun a 2,000 mile land-flown migration to Mexico or possibly even Central America. Parental care is entirely and tirelessly carried out by the mother. This is probably a second attempt at a brood this breeding season.
The incubation period will last two weeks. I’ll check back mid-August to observe if her clutch has hatched. The hatchlings will grow in size and strength over three weeks and expectantly fledge (leave the nest) the first week in September. Have you ever seen an immature hummingbird learn to fly? With any luck, I just may capture video of the hard work. Check back for an updated Notes from the Field post in late-September for new footage titled "Hummingbird Nest (chapter 2)".