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Black-chinned Humbird questions

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  • Jim
    While surveying a couple of sites in San Fernando Valley along the 14 corridor during the past several weeks, I have encountered nesting BLACK-CHINNED
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 9, 2006
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      While surveying a couple of sites in San Fernando Valley along the 14
      corridor during the past several weeks, I have encountered nesting
      BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD(s) at each.

      The first of these sites has failed twice, both nests in a large
      Black Locust near Sand Canyon, about 10 feet apart, 7 and 9 feet up,
      respectively. No other detectable BCHU near, but Anna's male was
      detected on several visits, and I have heard tell-tale squeaking of
      BCHU in nearby waving treetops, but not sure if more than just the
      female chasing away intruders of other species or its own. I suspect
      young Titmice of taking the eggs/hatchlings from her second nest, as
      there were several encroaching within a few feet last week when the
      nest was still "alive", and she chased them off each time; they're
      still present this week.

      The other site is of interest, since I thought nesting was a solo
      activity. Today (Sunday 09 July 2006), the second of two eggs hatched
      in a nest about 5 feet up in descending branch of a large Sycamore.
      While I was watching the female tending young, a MALE BCHU hovered a
      foot from the nest giving me full frontal views; it then "drifted"
      out of sight around drooping branches that shielded the nest...

      This was the second time another BCHU had visited this nest while the
      female was present, the first being a female (or earlier juvenile???
      or sibling???) last week when I found the nest, this other bird
      hovering several times within a foot of the nest, and attemted to
      land then drifted away; once it was chased away by the nest owner. A
      bit later today, both the male and another female/juvenile buzzed
      past within a foot-and-a-half of the nest while the female brooded
      the nestlings.

      I was under the impression that male Black-chinned Hummingbirds LEAVE
      after mating, and that females are left to raise and tend young long
      after males have "migrated". This incident would seem to defy that
      logic, and is the FIRST time I have ever seen a male near a female
      BCHU! Is this still the "beginning" of the nesting season for the
      species, even though one female has been at it since late May when
      she was building the first of two failed nests?

      Anyone out there who can help me understand this seemingly rare
      event? Or was a misinformed long ago about the nature of male BCHU?
      On [or off] list, depending on whether it is of appropriate for
      CALBIRDS... Thanks.

      Jim Greaves
      Santa Barbara
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