Thumbelina's nest has been whipping around in a strong north wind for several days and I've been unable to film, or even properly observe, her nest. However clearly she's been hanging in for dear life and has kept her eggs warm, because this morning I observed her feeding the chicks for the first time. You cannot see the feeding very clearly from this video, shot during a brief period of relative calm, partly because her back is to the camera, but she's clearly standing on the rim of the nest and apparently "stabbing" the nest interior with her beak - exactly the normal feeding behavior. Although it will continue windy for several days, it will shift more to the east, from which direction the nest should be more sheltered, so I should be able to put back in place my observation tower (a step-ladder) which was knocked over in the wind, and get better video. It's 2 weeks since I first observed the nest, which was essentially complete, and the youngsters have hatched right on schedule, despite the howling north wind of the last few days.
Conditions are far tougher in the North Fork yard that's currently hosting 2 rufous hummingbirds - the temperature the last 2 nights has been down to 12 degrees - but thanks to the valiant efforts of the homeowner, running 3 heated feeders, a heated roost, and a supply of freshly released fruit-flies (for needed protein) both seem to be doing fine! Here's a link to an interesting earlier account of these 2 rufouses.
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