Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 4, 2012.

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Growing Up Humming is a photo illustrated true story of two Anna's hummingbird chicks growing up on the nest.

16 Day Old Anna's Hummingbird Mother Feeding Chick

Anna's Hummingbird and Salvia

Growing Up Humming is a children's book about a family of Anna's hummingbirds growing up on the nest. It has a heart-warming real-life plot, along with rich description – both in words and photos – of every step of the chicks' development. It's packed with nature's splendor, and information which will delight and inform people of any age.

Growing Up Humming is for everyone who loves beauty and loves to learn about the world, everyone who wants a fun read, and for everyone who wants your kids to be inspired by nature and excited about science.

All of the photos and text are finished. Now I need funding to self-publish the book I've already created. The money will go toward book design, formatting for various electronic book formats, registration, ISBN codes, printing, and so on.

Extra funding beyond the goal will allow me to put more interactive elements into the e-book version, and more picture pages into the printed version. It will also allow me to format it for more electronic book formats (such as Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, Sony Kobo, etc.), and print the book in more paper book options (hardcover, softcover, etc.).

If this is successful, this will be just the first in a long series of picture books I'll make about the natural world.

I wrote and photographed the book entirely myself. You can see some examples of the quality of the photography in the book above, and some of the buzz this book is getting, below.

"...The book is charming and very informative. I would be enthralled if I were a young girl and I'd probably memorize it and go around spouting all the facts to my friends."

"I fell in love with Little Sister and the section on her. The multi-image collage showing her getting ready is brilliant!"

"You capture the special nature of this process so beautifully and that is not easy to do... I am so impressed with the thought that went into it, the clarity and the story line.  It kept my attention from start to finish."

"I tremendously appreciate what you've accomplished here. "

"Yours is so comprehensive and has details I never thought of that make it so much more interesting and more representative of the cycle.  Really excellent.  And, the pictures just shone! Very clear and you got them from the best angle to illustrate the entire process.  Technically superb, of course!"

"Very, very impressive! "
  – Lee Daniels, outdoor photographer and writer

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"Mike Spinak has written a charming book that takes us into the seldom seen microcosmic world of a mother hummingbird tending to her two young."

The photographs are fascinating and beautiful. The words are simple enough to be shared with a young child and will certainly sway them toward a lifetime fascination with nature. (And what could be wrong with that... We need more people who care for and about nature as much as Mike does.)

"My own 13 year old daughter (who I am certain is destined to be the next Jane Goodall) Gave this book two thumbs up and said 'I wish there were more books like this when I was younger. I hope he creates lots more like this.'"

"This is the kind of book which will fascinate and inspire children and their parents for generations." – Alan Shapiro, Photographer, Author, and Advertising Chief Creative Officer

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"Growing Up Humming tells the story of an Anna's hummingbird and her two chicks as the chicks grow, mature and leave the nest. Mike Spinak's photographs show all these steps in intimate detail – the mother feeding her young, the chicks learning to stretch their wings, flap, preen, and fly, and the stages of growth as the chicks lose their downy feathers and become young adults."

"Readers will empathize with the two tiny young birds as they learn to fly and fend for themselves, while the readers gain insights into the intriguing biology of these birds. I didn't know, for example, that Anna's hummingbirds eat so many insects – I thought they consumed nectar exclusively. And I hadn't thought about how hummingbirds in the nest avoid hurting each other with their long beaks!"

"Growing Up Humming is a charming book filled with beautiful, fascinating photographs."
–  Michael Frye, Nature Photographer, Author, and Teacher

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"I found the book to be packed full of fascinating facts, yet it was a quick read. The book contains excellent illustrations, the content is descriptive as well as informative. Photos show a great deal of outstanding detail and complement the content very well. The story of the two growing Anna's hummingbird chicks is well written ... The book will capture the attention of adults and children alike, a great read for the entire family."Christina Rollo, fine art nature photographer

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"Growing Up Humming is amazing."

"I have lived with, fed, and photographed Anna's hummingbirds in the Los Gatos Mountains for years, but reading Mike's wonderful book tripled my knowledge about these amazing creatures."
Ed Sweeney

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Additional Links:

My Website

My Portfolio

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My Google+ Business Page

My Facebook Page

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    A PDF e-book copy of the book PLUS an autographed postcard of the picture shown here of a mother Anna's hummingbird feeding a 16 day old chick.

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    A PDF e-book copy of the book PLUS I'll send PDF e-book copies to three people of your choice, as gifts from you, PLUS an autographed 8x12 inch print of the picture shown here of a mother Anna's hummingbird feeding a 16 day old chick PLUS an autographed postcard of the picture shown here of an Anna's hummingbird with a Salvia flower PLUS either (A) a guaranteed spot in a 1 hour online e-seminar (via Google+ Hangouts) explaining how I made these photos and answering questions OR (B) a Growing Up Humming photo t-shirt.

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    A paper book copy PLUS a PDF e-book copy of the book PLUS I'll send PDF e-book copies of the book to five people of your choice, as gifts from you, PLUS an autographed 8x12 inch print of the picture shown here of a mother Anna's hummingbird feeding a 16 day old chick PLUS an autographed 8x12 inch print of the picture shown here of an Anna's hummingbird with a Salvia flower PLUS a guaranteed spot in a 1 hour online e-seminar (via Google+ Hangouts) explaining how I made these photos and answering questions PLUS a Growing Up Humming photo t-shirt.

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    Everything from the $125 pledge AND the print of the Anna's hummingbird with a Salvia flower will be printed at 12x18 inches instead of 8x12 inches.

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    Everything from the $250 pledge AND both the autographed prints of the pictures shown here will be 12x18 inch instead of 8x12 inches.

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    Everything from the $400 pledge AND 1 day (6-8 hour) in-the-field, one-on-one, private photography instruction in my general area (Santa Cruz, California). Transportation not included.

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Funding period

- (30 days)