Hedera – Heddy for short – is an Allen’s Hummingbird nesting outside a home in Van Nuys, CA, and the newest addition to the nature and wildlife cameras on explore.org. She’s caring for her two young chicks amongst the ivy on a bottlebrush tree, a favorite nesting site of several female Allen’s Hummingbirds over the years, hence the camera name Ivy Hummingbird. In fact, Hedera Helix is the Latin name for the ivy she nests in.
A female Allen’s Hummingbird will build a nest, protect her eggs, and feed her babies all by herself with no help from a male (though the likely father of the two babies is a male named “Huitzi”, for an Aztec deity represented as a hummingbird-warrior). After incubating her eggs for about 17 days, she’ll nourish her chicks on a diet of flower nectar for energy and small insects for protein, until they fledge at 22-28 days old.
Heddy, like most adult Allen’s Hummingbirds, is roughly 3.5 inches in length and weighs about 3 grams. Her nest is the size of a golf ball, built with bits of plant material held together with spider silk, which stretches as the babies get bigger.
We invite you into their tiny, fragile home to witness the beauty as the family grows. Welcome to explore.org, Heddy!