Hummingbird Webcam 04 04 2014
Vancouver Island resident Eric Pittman been filming hummingbirds in his backyard for the past five years. Image: Hummingbirds up close

It's your perfect Friday diversion - a live hummingbird webcam! The closeup look at hummingbird life comes thanks to the work of one resident of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada, who's been filming the tiny birds in his backyard for the past five years.

If you're craving a glimpse of hummingbirds that's more than a whirring blur (they're high-speed aerial dynamos, after all), then this is it.

"It started in June of 2009," writes Eric Pittman on his website. "I saw a hummingbird feeding her chick while sitting on a small branch in our yard. I grabbed my camera and quickly pulled it out and took a few hurried photos."

Since that first encounter, he's filmed six generations of chicks in his yard (about 60 hummingbird nests from egg to flight), becoming a bit of a hummingbird expert in the process. His live webcam and HD videos (which are truly beautiful!) have also captured other aspects of hummingbird life, including aerial mating dances and battles for territory.

Pittman says observing the birds' lifecycle is remarkable. "The eggs are the size of coffee beans. When hatched, they are the length of two coffee beans, at one week they look like hairy raisins, but somehow, by day 21, they are proper little birds and begin to fly. To pull a raisin out of an egg and have it fly in three weeks is an impressive trick that beats any Vegas illusionist. And even after seeing it a number of times, I still have no idea how it happens," he writes. 

You can feast your eyes on the hummingbird cam (below) and follow updates on Pittman's Facebook page.