It’s rare to see a hummingbird’s nest. Even rarer, I think, to spot one in a hotel pool patio. 

But that’s exactly the uncommon spectacle my husband, Hank, and I encountered during a three-month stay at Hotel La Bocona, an elegantly restored colonial mansion in Granada, Nicaragua. 

Hummingbird in nest. © Ellen Barone.

The hummingbird in this photograph patiently incubated her eggs in a nest which, unlikely as it sounds, was perched atop the delicate frond of the potted palm that sat beside our poolside breakfast table. 

Each morning, we drank our fresh carrot or beet juice and ate our beans, plantains, yogurt or eggs, while the devoted mama bird roosted beside us. 

Like proud relatives we awaited the birth of the baby hummingbirds with eager anticipation. 

For weeks, day after day, hour upon hour, the mother bird tucked her wings and sat and sat and sat. No matter what time of day or night it was when we inspected the potted palm, there she was. 

Until she wasn’t. 

My heart sank the day my morning examination revealed two Jelly-Belly-sized white eggs in the miniature nest but no mama hummer. 

The previous afternoon, I’d caught the young son of one of the guests ready to clamp his curious child’s fist around the stem of the palm frond that housed the nest. Containing my alarm, I’d gently redirected the rambunctious boy back to his nanny, who’d been more interested in flipping through the pages of a fashion magazine than looking after her charge. 

I also alerted the hotel staff, who, like us, had grown protective of the wee bird and her unborn family. But I feared the worst. 

Had the child gone back to investigate and scared the mother bird off? Or, did he touch the nest, causing her to reject it?

We never knew. The nest, like our expectant hope, remained abandoned.  

What about you? Do you have a memorable travel experience that didn’t turn out as you’d hoped? Share a comment below, on my Facebook page, or tag me on twitter to continue the conversation. 

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Read more about our Nicaragua adventures


About Ellen Barone: Consumer travel expert Ellen Barone is the founder and publisher of and Learn more here and connect on Twitter at,FacebookGoogle+Pinterest, and LinkedIn.