Almost as soon as we moved into this apartment in Pacific Palisades, CA, I put up a hummingbird feeder. There are tons of them in this neighborhood, and I've always enjoyed them. Then, A couple years ago, I took cuttings from the ivy growing in our hedge and planted it on our porch. It grew pretty well and soon started its way across the ceiling of our little porch cubicle.
Well, a few weeks ago, I noticed something weird on a branch but didn't pay any attention to it. Until I noticed that a hummingbird was very often on the branch -- and zoomed away every time I opened the door. Then, one day I was working on the porch, watering the plants, and the hummer zoomed up with a mouth full of fluff and spiderwebs and it all clicked -- the bird was building a nest in our ivy.
Now, what else is there for a computer nerd to do than to webcast the whole thing?
Vital statistics: I think it's a female Allen's Hummingbird, but I'm not exactly sure. Yes, that is an egg in the nest. There is one small egg, about the size of a large jelly bean. I've read online that they usually lay two eggs, but there's definitely just one in the nest. The nest itself is probably 6cm long, about an inch and a half. The bird was working on the nest less than a week ago but the egg is visible in the earliest pictures I took with the webcam on 5/4.
The weirdest thing is that the bird is only on the nest maybe 20 minutes out of the hour, or less, and it's not (usually) because of interruptions from us. I don't know if that means the egg really isn't going to hatch, or if that's acceptable in a warmer climate, or what. I'm hoping that if it doesn't hatch, she might "double brood" -- have another round. There are h-birds year round here so that's not impossible.
Images are updated between 6AM and 8PM every night, although I may shrink that some, as you can see, the cameras don't handle the low light very well. I will probably document my setup in a few days for those out there that are interested, but in short, it's basic webcams being driven by a Linksys NSLU2 running Debian Linux.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy!