A few weeks ago while scanning Facebook I saw a post from the University of Arizona about a recently discovered hummingbird nest that was perched above a walkway, on the very end of a dangling cable at the new Environmental and Natural Resources Building (ENR2). They set up a camera within inches, allowing us to watch their every move. We began watching a little over a week ago. Click to watch UOA Hummingbird cam. << only hours left (as of today August 15th)
Yesterday sister “Jill” left the nest for good, today we sit and watch as brother “Jack” gets ready to take flight. Its been hard for me not to become fixated on this tiny bird. I stream it on my phone and leave it on during dinner, I check in on him throughout the say and then one last time before I go to sleep.
This morning he seems closer to being ready. His mom comes back ever so briefly for a quick meal. I find myself cheering him as he steps to the edge and stretches his wings, he grips tightly to the edge which prevents him from leaving, I cheer from my desk chair “just let go!!! …c’mon little guy you can do it.” But as much as I want him to leave, a little part of me is relieved that when I refresh the screen he’s still there to watch.
I know we are down to our last few hours with him and I’m sure he’s ready to embark on his own adventure instead of the confinement of the nest. I can’t help but wonder what will happen when he’s on his own, will he find food? What about the nighttime, is he safe by himself? Can he self soothe? Will others accept him? Who will protect him? By now I’m not convinced he’s ready, I notice he still has a few baby feathers still clinging on. I am those tiny feathers, trying to hold on until there is no more room for them/me. I will be repurposed and he will put his pin feathers to good use.
There’s something so comforting about this. Thank you UOA for giving us freshman class parents a little perspective. And to all the momma birds feeling all the feels this weekend as we pack up our kids belonging remember its not just the end of one story, its the beginning of another.
I’ll make sure next week as I drop off my baby to pay respects to the nest!
*screenshots images from University of Arizona Planning, Design & Construction webcam.