Here’s a brand new shot of mama hummingbird tending her eggs. The nest is directly outside our back door, nestled high in the leaves of a ficus tree. Season’s worth of babies have been nurtured and hatched in this tree, and every year I’m filled with gratitude to witness nature’s bounty.
Normally, the phases of incubation go off without a hitch, although the 3 week process is stressful to endure. Worry about mama’s and babies’ safety from common predators like cats and other birds is a near constant, and with good reason. We’ve already suffered an avian tragedy. (Read here.)
I’d like to report that I learned my lesson from that experience, and have relinquished my desire to control nature and the circle of life, but I have not. As soon as my husband and I noticed the nest, we launched an internet research campaign to find something—anything—to protect our special family members. This is what we came up with.
Now. I admit that Garden Scarecrow Eagle Decoy with scary flashing eyes and frightening sound pest repellent—motion activated and solar powered—looks pretty darn scary. And we’ve considered the possibility that it may actually scare the very creatures it’s meant to protect. But. Fifty-nine percent of Amazon reviewers rate this sucker 4 out of 5 stars, and upon further research, we discovered that hawks and hummingbirds can co-exist. Hummingbird survival rates increase in areas where hawks are present. I believe this factoid because some website said it was true, and because I want to. We’ve discussed various options for hawk positioning, prominent, but not near the nest. We’ve discussed the need to assess efficacy and a procedure to facilitate change, if necessary. We’ve calculated the risks and are taking every precaution. We're making it work, and I’ll keep you posted.
It may seem antithetical, at a time when I’m supposed to be practicing self-care, to throw caution to the wind and try to manipulate nature, to hold on tighter when I could instead practice letting go. Wasn’t that the point of my last post, perched as we were on the edge of my girl’s flight to college and our own empty nest? Well, I’ve been known to bang my head more than once against the same wall. Letting go may help me yield to life’s flow, may help me find more peace and alleviate the pain of attachment, but so will launching these babies healthy and happy.
You can learn more about hummingbirds here and here. More really interesting facts here. I just learned that hummingbird wings work in a figure 8 movement. This movement looks like the infinity sign, which lends to hummingbird symbolism of eternity, continuity, and infinity.