My very first story ever posted here on 10,000 Birds was about the interesting habit of our local Costa’s Hummingbirds, using the sailboats in Marina Palmira, here in La Paz, Mexico for nesting sites. Each and every one of these boats have a myriad of lines, rigging and other places to establish their new nest. Ever since that first year, the number of nesting Costa’s on boats has multiplied. Each new brood, having been born in the marina, have tended to return to the same area that their parents have chosen. This year we have at least 5 nests that have either been started or completed, and so far three broods have hatched. At least that is all I have been able to find, as you might guess they tend to hide them very well.
The down side of using a boat as a nesting site, is that the sites are quite mobile, and their owners use them every now and then. This can lead to some interesting attitudes with regard to the fact that a new family is in the works, on the very expensive toy they plan on taking out to use. For the most part, the hummingbirds tend to choose boats that are rarely if ever occupied, and so there for never move. More than a few times I have had to try to convince the owners to put off a fishing or sailing trip for a week or so, in order for the babies to fledge. As some of you might remember, I even went so far as to move a nest from one boat to another https://www.10000birds.com/the-great-hummingbird-nest-heist.htm with excellent results.
Below are the few of the locations that have been chosen to build on.
It will be interesting to see how many more nest on boats year after year! Would it be last year’s young breeding on boats this year, or do they have to be older than that to breed do you think?
Good morning Clare, the Costa’s Hummingbird tend to mature slower, in regards to leaving the nest, and dependency on the mother for food, when compared to other passerines. They are fully mature after 6 months and so come spring they found searching our marina for nesting sites!
What a pleasure for you all! 🙂
But what happens when the boat owner goes for a little tour? There is a ferry over a broad river here in Germany, I think it is the Elbe, and Barn Swallows have been nesting on the ferry for the last few years. To feed their young, they simply follow the ferry as it crosses the river again and again. But this of course is only a few hundred metres per trip.