Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hummingbird

Now that the lantana has finished blooming, the hummingbirds are practically living at the feeder. There are three of them, and every five minutes, one is at the window, slurping sugar water. Often they fight. This despite the fact that the feeder has three flowers from which to drink, and is refilled at least every three days. They cannot get it into their heads that there's plenty to go around.










They also have a well-developed sense of entitlement. On occasion, I have let the feeder go for perhaps four days without refilling it. This is apparently one day beyond the threshold of freshness for sugar water in hundred-degree heat. When this happens, the bird will take a sip, make a face, then rotate in mid-air to glare into the window at me, demanding that I drop what I'm doing and mix up a fresh batch. I comply, of course, if for no other reason than sheer respect for a creature that is so tiny and yet strong enough to fly non-stop across the Gulf of Mexico (about 500 miles in 18-22 hours) losing more than half her body weight on the journey.

Bulk up, little lady!

4 comments:

Mary said...

I have the same feeder, David, and find myself refilling them every two or three days, also. Good photos of the little, demanding birds. I just love them and dread them leaving. They have an incredible journey. Do you recall what month they left last year? I didn't have a feeder so I didn't notice.

David in Greensboro, NC said...

Mine left in September, but Iris at Greensboro Birds had one stay until October. A couple of our customers saw a rufous hummingbird in Greensboro last winter. They aren't supposed to be here, but it's not totally unheard of.

Mary said...

Thanks, David. Looks like I'll be enjoying them for just a short while longer...

Bisbee Border Birder Bloggers said...

David, this is also a young male - note the "five-o'clock shadow." See this site for more on North Carolina hummingbirds:

www.naturalsciences.org/nchummers/