I was out in the backyard Sunday continuing the spring cleanup. The backyard was active, birds flying between the feeders and baths, lizards sunny themselves on the fence and hummingbirds drawing nectar from the red salvias that start early and last through the summer. Towards the evening I watched the hummingbirds behaving in a peculiar manner. They were hovering at the fence and appeared to be pulling at old spider webs that littered the fence line just under the top board.
I went back inside, logged onto the computer, and confirmed what I thought. She is building a nest. From the World of Hummingbirds.com: “Female hummingbirds will need nesting material to make her nest. She likes to use nice soft material like moss and lichen. She also likes to use cotton fluffs, bits of willows, soft plant pieces, dryer lint, and leaf hairs. She will bring these items back to her nest a little at a time, gluing it all together with spider webs. The spider webs make terrific glue for the nest, allowing the nest to stretch and be flexible as the baby hummingbirds grow. The spider webs also make it easier for the mother hummingbird to repair the nest when damaged or when kids do what kids do. While building the nest, the female hummingbird will try to camouflage it as much as possible by using small sticks, seeds, and plant pieces to shade the outside of the nest. She will make sure the lighter parts of the nest are in the sun, while the darker parts of the nest are in the shade, blending it in with the surroundings.”