5.10.2011

NEST CAMS: EAGLES and OWLS and HUMMERS, OH MY!


So I promised to take you someplace beautiful...Here's a link to a hummingbird nest. Live from the west coast. "Nest cams" are becoming increasingly popular online; the tiny video camera embedded in the nest doesn't seem to affect the birds at all. Or, perhaps, they are finely feathered divas. They go about the business of laying eggs, hatching them, feeding chicks, and banishing the weak--my favorite kind of reality show.

Eagle Nest Cams rounds up the best of the show, from Maine to Victoria, British Columbia; things are quiet over at the owl's nest in Austin, Texas. The Eastern bluebird nest in Pennsylvania shows five gorgeous blue eggs. But where's mama? Ah, she's back, and in position on the nest. And, while we're at it--just to balance all this modernity with a step back in time-- take a look at these beautiful bird illustrations by John Sill (see image).

You may ponder all kinds of philosophical and social questions about why we are so mesmerized by these violations of bird privacy, all in the comfort of your own pajamas. Now, what happens when we find out that enormous, bird-like creatures from an alien planet are watching us on nest cams?

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting and as you promised very "peaceful". Just food for thought....judging from the number of comments on you last blog, maybe people don't always need the "peaceful beautiful blog".
Maybe the last blog educated, inspired, infuriated, humbled and most importantly got people actually involved and interacting! After all that is what we humans crave, I for one enjoyed the last blog, it kept me coming back.
I mean just think about all the bases that were covered...snarky vs. edgie and suffering or just plain pissed, mens reaction vs womens. How much of an influence do mothers have on their children, even when their adults? Nothing beats a spirited discussion, as proven by the comments that were double your usual.

VL said...

Dear Dominique,
The hummingbird cam is currently showing the momma nesting alertly (do hummingbirds ever not look alert?). I'm reminded of a garden I was lucky enough to have when I lived in Houston. My now-ex and I had bought and restored a beautiful little bungalow that had been owned by one couple since about 1947 until the early 90's, when it was bought by a young couple in the financial industry with far more money than taste and absolutely no interest in gardening -- the back yard was one overgrown, knotted thicket and it was impossible to tell what was even there. I pounced on the the opportunity to restore the house, and it became my dream home, with a dream garden. With help from Thompson + Hanson, we cut through the weeds and discovered dozens of species that had been growing for decades, including lilies nearly as tall as me, and a row of hibiscus that towered over the garage. We also discovered that the garden had been designed by the great Texas landscape architect Pat Fleming. What a gem it was, and the previous owners just hadn't noticed or cared: the garden was planned so that something was always blooming, day, night, winter, or summer. And the hummingbirds loved it! I'd have my morning tea in the breakfast nook, with my dogs at my feet, and gaze out over the garden as the birds would hover over the blossoms.

I should note that most of that year said ex was away on sabbatical, and I just happened to be incredibly happy in that house during that year. Should have been a clue, but, well, I had to endure a lot more misery (!) before I learned to reject avoidable suffering.

Alas, I learned a couple years ago that the couple that had bought the house after we moved to NY has sold it yet again, after having razed the back yard and made a lawn out of it. It had been my dream to have that house again some day, but there is no way to replace 70-year old plants, especially now that Texas is becoming the new Australia.

So much waste, so much insensibility.

On a happier note, I realized that though I cannot write about my ex on my blog (I wouldn't want people who happened to know us both to have to deal with that), I am perfectly free to admit I was happiest when he was away right here in the comments on your blog. Ha! :)

amusedly yours,
V.

SweetRetreat said...

Well, I don't find this a peaceful place at all. I watched an eagle cam for a few hours and was just a wreck worrying that something would happen to the babies while the mother was off finding food. The hummingbird cam is special, but there again, it makes me worry. And I'm a long-time amateur birder and should be able to handle bird life.

I agree, the last blog posting was interesting as it evolved from issue to issue.

Thank you for showing the links to all the bird cams, even if I can only peek in.

SJ

William said...

heh heh heh, Dominique, you said 'hummers'!

Oh, and before I get in trouble I apologize for this Beavis and Butthead moment and I apologize for apologizing.

buyaionaccounts said...

Whoa nest cams sounds new and intriguing, after big brother comes this,I'm loving the idea. Birds are definitely adorable creature I hope humans doesn't do any harm with this.

Cristina said...

absolutely amazing!
(and 'till now, I had never heard about this novelty. thanks for widening my knowledges!)

Project Girl said...

Thank you so much for the nest cams!! My neighbor and I just built owl shacks this Spring and installed them... we are having a contest on who gets the first tenant... ha ha

So fun to see!
-- Dallas TX

Leslie Brunetta said...

Dominique--
Now you can finally get a close look at the spider silk knitting together the hummingbird nest! Some of that white stuff in the lining is down from the mother's breast, but some of it is spider silk. And spider silk is mostly what's holding the whole thing together. If you're ever in Cambridge again, let me know and you can hold two hummingbird nests that my mother found on our lawn more than 30 years ago. They're the family heirlooms.
Best wishes,
Leslie

Warren said...

Thanks for rounding up all these great websites. By the by, is there a way you can imbed weblinks so that they open the link in a new window so that we are not taken away from your blog? I know one can on a webpage but I'm not sure of the tools you have available on your blog.

PS: I miss Eastern bluebirds in Seattle. And I am always stunned when a hummingbird zooms by me here.

William said...

Eagles and owls are great - but hummers are definitely the best. I've always said there is nothing better than a good hummer.

Eulalia (Lali) Benejam Cobb said...

What an appropriate post for this blog--nothing illustrates the "slow love life" better than a bird sitting on eggs.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I feel like such an intruder looking at these nest cams!!

Dominique said...

I will have to find out about the technology of embedded windows--I thought we already had that, so that you don't leave SLL to visit the links. But maybe it doesn't work for everyone? I'll ask. I never see bluebirds in Rhode Island, though they are around...I think I have too many osprey nearby. Fatal enemies....and I agree, definitely we are spying. THANK YOU for letting me know about the spider silk! What precious heirlooms--that you have them, that they were passed on, says so much about the values nested in them, too.

Louis said...

Dominique Your grandfather classified everything except farm crops as weeds. This included flowers (although he liked them) and even trees. He grew up on a farm, as you know, and even as a business man he always retained the love of, and feelings for, farming. As for me, weeds are something the gardner or somebody else has to pull up, I have considered myself exempt for the past several years! Love Pops