Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hummingbirds

I never knew hummingbirds were so territorial or that watching them might be hazardous. The latter might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I believe it is just a matter of time before I get smacked in the side of the head from one or more of them as I sit on the front porch enjoying the show.

I used to think that such activities were peaceful and quiet, but hummingbirds are neither. I admit it is the kind of 'noise' I relish however. These tiny birds that aren't much bigger than some insects with a much louder buzz, are amazing little critters. Rarely do they sit still, although I have seen that at times. They either sit on the perch of the feeder or on a shrub next to the porch as they wait their turn to imbibe. Sometimes they chase one another to an awaiting tree branch where they become invisible behind an oak leaf.

I make my own food for them; I must be a great cook. They love that colorless sugar water. I swear I've even seen one or two smacking their lips (beaks). With two feeders on the front porch, it is nearly impossible to count how many birds are buzzing around at one time. They swarm the feeders and are very picky about which spot they occupy. They are pretty picky about who they dine with as well. The males are pretty mean to the females and especially to the other males. I haven't been watching long enough to know if their behavior changes as the season progresses. That may be a nice activity for the future. I think I could get into hummingbird behavioral studies. Perhaps I can apply for a government grant. It seems like everybody else gets them. It would be nice to be paid to sit on the front porch, birdwatching. ;-)