How the Live Webcam Got StartedLiving in Southern California, we are blessed to be joined by numerous species of birds and several years ago we noticed a hummingbird setting up her nest in our yard. What amazed us is we thought it would be a one-time event, but she kept coming back year after year. After several years, we thought it would be fun to get a closer look and set up our first webcam in 2007. As the number of viewers grew, in March 2009 we moved the broadcast to Ustream.tv, and the number of viewers exploded and we had climbed to the most popular birding site on the web (Fat Birder's Top 1000 Birding Website). In less than a year, we had over 2 million views, and by the 3rd year are over 16 million. Phoebe has a dedicated community of followers from all around the world, and we love hearing that school children are learning about hummingbirds with the help of our webcam and that Phoebe has inspired visual artists, musicians, poets, and more.
Who is Phoebe?Phoebe is a non-migratory Channel Islands Allen's Hummingbird (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allen's_Hummingbird). She builds her nests in a rose bush, and the nest is about the size of a golf ball, with eggs being about the size of a tic-tac candy (Egg Pics). The season for nesting is October through May/early June, and Phoebe will lay four to five clutches per season. Two eggs are laid per clutch, they hatch after 17 days, and the chicks typically fly three to four weeks later. Phoebe will sometimes build a new nest, but frequently repairs old nests. For more information, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions (below).
Laid: 5 & 7-Apr-2008
Laid: 5 & 7-May-2008
End of 2007-08 Season
Laid: 29 & 31-Oct-2008
Laid: 29-Dec & 01-Jan
Laid: 16 & 19-Feb-2009
Laid: 12 & 14-Apr-2009
Laid: 23 & 25-Apr-2009
End of 2008-09 Season
Laid: 24 & 27-Oct-2009
Laid: 2 & 4-Jan-2010
Laid: 25 & 27-Feb-2010
Laid: 29 & 31-Mar-2010
Laid: 23 & 25-Apr-2010
End of 2009-10 Season
Laid: 31-Oct & 2-Nov-2010
Laid: 1 & 4-Jan-2011
Laid: 21 & 24-Feb-2011
Laid: 11 & 14-Apr-2011
Laid: 22 & 24-May-2011
End of 2010-11 Season
Laid: 22 & 25-Nov-2011
Laid: 24 & 27-Jan-2012
Laid: 12 & 15-Mar-2012
Laid: 22 & 24-Apr-2012
Laid: 5 & 7-Jun-2012
End of 2011-12 Season
Laid: 17 & 20-Dec-2012
Laid: 10 & 13-Feb-2013
Laid: 3 & 6-Apr-2013
One Hatched: 21-May-2008
Hatched: 15 & 16-Nov-2008
One Hatched: 16-Jan-2009
Hatched: 6 & 7-Mar-2009
Eggs stolen by another bird April 14.
One Hatched: 10-May-2009
Hatched: 10 & 12-Nov-2009
Eggs stolen by another bird March 31.
Hatched: 9 & 10-May-2010
Eggs were lost 4-Nov-2010
Hatched: 18 & 20-Jan-2011
Hatched: 28 & 30-Apr-2011
Hatched: 8 & 9-Jun-2011
Hatched: 10 & 11-Dec-2011
Hatched: 10 & 12-Feb-2012
Hatched: 29 & 31-Mar-2012
3-May-2012 Crow took the eggs
Hatched: 22 & 23-Jun-2012
Hatched: 4 & 5-Jan-2013
Hatched: 1-Mar-2013 + Adoptee 3/7
Hatched: 20 & 22-Apr-2013
Fledged: 19 & 20-Feb-2008
Fledged: 15-Feb-2009 Marcel
Fledged: 29 & 31-Mar-2009 Roza & Goober
Taken to rehabilitation specialist; Jewel released 23-Jul-2009
Fledged: 4-Dec-2009 Jade & Julep
Both Storm & Sassy died.
Fledged: 02-June-2010 Hoku (Hope taken by a crow)
Fledged: 14-Feb-2011 Bea & Jay
Fledged: 5 & 6-April-2011 Kouki & Haruka
Fledged: 20-May-2011 Scout [Cheche did not survive]
Fledged: 2 & 3-July-2011 Joplin & Heather
Fledged: 2 & 5-January-2012 Bob & Rose
Fledged: 4 & 5-March-2012 Sansa & Arya
15-April-2012 (Mary Jo & Woody taken by a crow)
Fledged: 16 & 18-July-2012 Flash & Opal
Fledged: 28 & 29-Jan-2013 Sandy & Faith
Fledged: 23 & 24-Mar-2013 Pip & Fleur
Fledged: 11 & 13-May-2013 Shelly & Tierra
Migration Maps (help them with your sightings):
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Where is the nest located?
A. In our host's front courtyard in Orange County, CA, in a rose bush.
Q. Who owns this camera?
A. Our host's Ustream username is Pungh0Li0.
Q. What kind of camera is being used?
A. Logitech® HD Pro Webcam C910. For more info, click on "The Camera" above.
Q. What kind of bird is this?
A. Phoebe is a Channel Island Allen's Hummingbird subspecies S.s. sedentarius. This is a non-migratory subspecies of Allen's Hummingbird indigenous to The Channel Islands off Southern California.
Q. Do most hummingbirds migrate?
A. Yes, most do, but there are other resident species as well
Q. Are there hummingbirds in all parts of the world?
A. No, hummingbirds occur only in the Americas and the surrounding Islands
Q. I thought only males had the red throat.
A. In this species females have a speckled gorget.Please see http://www.kiwifoto.com/galleries/birds/allens_hummingbird/ to view photos of male and female Allen's Hummingbirds, where there is a text including the Channel Islands Allen's below the pictures
Q. What time is it at the nest?
A. This nest is in the Pacific Time Zone of the United States.(GMT -8 hours)
Q. How many clutches does she have per year?
A. She usually has 4-5 per breeding season, which runs between late October and May/June each year
Q. How long until the eggs hatch?
A. The eggs normally hatch approximately 16-18 days from date laid.
Q. How many eggs are laid?
A. Normally 2 eggs are laid (approximately the size of tic-tacs).
Q. What does the mother bird feed the chicks?
A. She feeds them nectar (for energy) and insects (for protein) by regurgitation (a sort of buggy stew), which is stored in their crops (food storage sacs, which appear like lumps on the sides of their necks).Hummingbirds require a large percentage of fruit flies, gnats, small spiders and other soft-bodied insects for protein as well as nectar for energy.
Q. How often are they fed?
A. When small, they are fed about every 15-30 minutes.The length of time increases with development.
Q. How long until the babies fledge (fly)?
A. The babies normally fledge approximately 21-28 days from hatch date.
Q. What gender are the chicks?(male or female?)
A. Chicks get their gender feathers after the first-year molt.Until then, they appear as juveniles, no gender feathers apparent, looking more like adult females with drabber feather colors.There is no way to know their gender before adult plumage occurs.
Q. Why do Phoebe's feathers change colors?
A. See http://hummingbirdworld.com/h/iridescent.htm to learn why hummingbirds' feathers are iridescent
Q. What are those black specks on the nest?
A. Hummingbird waste (aka. Poop); the young instinctively raise their rear ends to defecate outside the nest, keeping the interior clean and waste free
Q. What is the nest made of?
A. Various plant material such as moss, lichens, leaves, plant fluff and other natural materials and spiderwebbing for elasticity and strength
Q. Does she always use the same nest?
A. Phoebe has 4 nests in this rose bush.She alternates among them, sometimes remodeling one and sometimes using materials from the others to build a new nest.
Q. Does the dad help raise the chicks?
A. No, the male hummingbird's part in the raising of young is breeding and fertilization only.They do not help with the building of the nest or the raising of the chicks once that is accomplished.
Q. How many babies has Phoebe had?
A. Please see "Nest Log" above.
Q. How old is Phoebe?
A. Phoebe is an unbanded hummingbird, so there is no scientific way to know just how old she is. But if she is indeed the same bird he has observed here, it is believed by our host that she is approximately 7 years old.
Q. How long do hummingbirds live?
A. The oldest banded hummingbird lived to be 12 years old.Many die in their first year, but the average age is about 4-7 years.Ages range with different species.