It’s fairly early this morning and mom Morning Dove is on the nest keeping the eggs warm.  It’s 77 Fahrenheit so there is not a lot of morning chill.  Carefully I crept up to take a picture and she was tolerant for about 2-3 minutes as I snapped a few images with my iPhone 10.  I’m surprised how well it takes pictures.  Finally, she lost her patience with the intruder, me, and flew off so as not to bring too much attention to the nest.

Over time she will get used to me and learn to trust my presence.  Hopefully, she will.  The last nesting mom would let me get very close to the nest without worry. after a time.

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It has been a long time since we have had Morning Doves nest at eye level or even close to eye level. This nest appears as though it is in our oleanders but not. The nest is strategically place atop a horizontal 14 foot ladder normally used for painting. Gus is not going to use that ladder this season until the eggs have hatched and the babies have gained their wings for flight. This is such a joy to me as many years back I had a Morning Dove in a tree in the backyard two years in a row with thriving babies. I’ve posted those pictures which are so much fun.

Mom over time trusted me. However, the tree was lost during heavy winds and the dove abandoned the site. If you have not heard Morning Doves in the early morning it is a delightful cooing sound that warms your heart. I hope this new mom will gain trust in me like my previous one.

My heart is going out for these two newborn hummingbirds nesting in a low branch over our pond.  They are crying out to mom for breakfast.  I am hoping she will come soon to give them their treat. They were 1-2 days old at this moment and mom had been coming and going to feed and keep them warm.

Newborn Hummingbirds Crying out for a Meal
Newborn Hummingbirds Crying out for a Meal

A few days later my heart is going out even more now. A hummingbird who I think was the mom flew into our kitchen window and knocked the air out of her wings. She did get up and fly away and I hope she is not too injured. I’ve been watching closely. That same day she did come back to the nest and kept them warm overnight. Our temperatures are not as cold here but still too cold at night for newborn birds. Yesterday, I saw her at the nest in the morning and she was standing up on the nest edge looking up. Later that day didn’t see her at all nor through last night. I’m worried. This morning the little babes are snuggled together in the nest and mom is still nowhere around. I hope she is just off looking for food for her and her young. I’ll try to give them hummingbird food with a dropper if I don’t see her later today. And then bring the nest into our home to keep them warm. Odds are if she is gone that I won’t be able to help them survive but I will try anyway. But, I won’t move the nest until I’m definitely sure she is not coming back for her babies.  I am sad but hopeful.

3/8/2015 1:00 pm:  I did a little research on how to help these little hummers survive and found this link for Find A Rehabilitator ad Wildlife Info.org.  They had a rescue house in the East Valley.  I dropped off the babies to Paul and Gloria just a few hours ago.  They said the babies were 8-10 days old and at the chance for survival was good.  I took a last picture of the little ones as I gave them up.  Their chances are much better with Paul and Gloria as the bird need fed very often.  If I recall its at least every 30 minutes or more and they will use a special formula for them.  I hope that they keep me updated with good news.

They are sleeping as I drop them off at the bird rescue
They are sleeping as I drop them off at the bird rescue

Who is getting the reward in this picture?  The newborn hummingbird getting a meal?  The hummingbird mom who just was rewarded with two little hatchlings?  Or, me for having them perched just above my barbecue? I wasn’t able to barbecue at all that season because of the little babies.  That was three years ago and now they have a nest in another tree by the spa.

I’ve stepped out several times to take a photo of the mother nesting but she is still too timid and immediately flies away.  This time the nest is hidden on a heavily leafed branch and it’s more difficult to get a sharp picture of the mom nesting without the leaves taking away the focus.  I think we can use the spa except that it’s still too cold.

Mamma Hummingbird Feeding Her Young
Mamma Hummingbird Feeding Her Young

Stop in here to see other great ideas for Rewards on the Weekly Photo Challenge.

Great vacations for us usually start with a long trip from airport to airport and then a little recovery time. This one was that with a little added exaggeration which I will explain later. We started with a red-eye flight out of Phoenix, connecting at JFK and then arriving in St. Thomas USVI the next day. When this is our flight choice we like to add a one day hotel stay before going on to the catamaran for our sailing trip. It also helps to adjust to the time zones changes… somewhat…

After arriving at the hotel, we enjoyed a lovely walk along the beaches at our first night hotel in St. Thomas, USVI; the Sapphire Village Resort.  The hotel was located higher up on a hill a short walk to the boat docks and the beaches.  In the picture of the docks, you can see the Villas in the background.    We had a great view of the boat docks, but limited view of the ocean.  The room was appointed in typical Caribbean style with bamboo type furniture.

Marina at the Hotel
Marina at the Hotel

During our walk along the beach we, of course,  came across several beach birds and I, of course, couldn’t resist taking a multitude of shots at the little darlings.  This White-cheeked Pintail was begging for food but we didn’t have anything to feed him.

Beach Duck
Beach Duck

 

Staying for one night on the May 23rd at The Sapphire Village which turned out to be a good thing since Gus’ suitcase was nowhere to be found at the airport. Most of that first night was making phone calls, checking email and tracking the bag that the airline lost.   Finally, it was located not in JFK New York where it would have been put on a plane to STT (airport code for St. Thomas) to then be delivered to the hotel.

Imaging my surprise to find it was heading to  Dubai via Ireland and the next day we were leaving St Thomas to go to Tortola BVI.  Then we would be on Festiva Sailings Catamaran island hopping.  Just image the airline trying to island hop Gus’ suitcase and catch up with us.  I can tell you that would have been a nightmare.  So, after calling the airline and explaining Bob Dylan’s Style as in Alice’s Restaurant, the tale of the suitcase, the agent was able to reroute the bag.  It arrived the following day just hours before our ferry left to take us to Tortola.  And it was not the unnamed airline that found out where it was.  It was me.  I finally changed my method of search and tracked the bag via our connecting airline.  The bag was in Philadelphia ready to go on a flight to SLL (airport code for Dubai).

After convincing the airline agent that if they didn’t get involved the suitcase would have been following us by slow boat as we Island hopped and would probably never catch up. suitcase Poor Gus.  No swimsuits, no clean shorts of any type.  All was not lost though and the bag did finally reach us.  It appears that TSA took a look at the bag and it missed the plane.  It was then sent back to Phoenix where it was then rerouted using the code SLL instead of STT.

I was so aggravated by the lost suitcase that I can’t even remember much about the hotel.  Enough of this ranting, suitcase in hand, we are now on the Ferry and motoring onward to Tortola for a fun and relaxing Catamaran trip with Festiva Sailing.

Leaving St. Thomas on the Ferry
Leaving St. Thomas on the Ferry

 

Momma chick was following up the rear with her little baby chicks between her and the other side of the street.  No cars in sight, whew.   I had to chuckle at the little prancing parade. Have you ever felt like this when you and your family or friends are walking along single file? I have.

Momma chick with babies between her and the other side of the street.
Momma chick with babies between her and the other side of the street.