Friday, May 1, 2009

My Hummingbirds Have Returned!

Each April I eagerly await the arrival of "our" Ruby Throated Hummingbirds. I can't remember when I first started feeding hummers, but I know there have been a number of generations returning to my feeder every year.

I check a migration map for return dates. This year, they came in last week, though the map stated April 5-15. I had the feeder ready and waiting. I ended up dumping out the original liquid preparing fresh for them. They'd come all the way from Mexico. I heard one expert say it's a non stop flight once they get started.

I noticed one male and one female last weekend. Now, I'm seeing four at a time. By summer, double the number of birds seen flitting around the feeder at any one time, and you'll get an approximation of how many hummingbirds are visiting the feeder.

I enjoy sitting on our deck watching them. Sometimes they'll hover and look at me, seemingly sizing me up. They'll fly away or decide I'm not a threat and land on the feeder to take in the nectar. The females seem to be more timid than their male counterparts.

Sadly, yesterday afternoon, Buddy the cat got lucky. I believe one of the hummers hit my sliding glass door window and fell to the ground. Buddy, being the lazy fellow he usually is, didn't pass up the opportunity. I heard a commotion and went to the door. There sat Buddy with one of my little guys in his mouth. I really don't think Buddy realized what he'd done. He looked up at me, hummingbird in his mouth, and in my moment of anger I told him to "drop it", which he did, surprising me even more. We often refer to Buddy as a cat-dog. I picked up the delicate body but of course, there was no life in it. I felt really guilty having the feeder close to the porch. Buddy hadn't really bothered the birds in the past, which is why I have the feeder hanging on the porch. Now, he lays out there in wait, watching. I may have to move the feeder. Knowing Buddy is really a fairly lazy fella, I'm going to hold out for a while.

Hummingbirds are a wonder. Each spring, upon their arrival, I feel blessed to have a hand in helping them along, at least I always hope that's what I'm doing. They give me my daily dose of "wow, they're really incredible" along with a smile just watching them.


Linda said...

That's the problem--I love my cats to kill mice, but NOT the birds--especially hummingbirds.

Speaking of which, I had a crazy Robin last week flying on purpose into my window--over and over and over and over again for two days. Now he's gone--he either gave himself brain damage or the cats finally got him. It was WEIRD!!

LJS82 said...

When I worked at the library we had huge windows all around the building. One spring day, a bird, I don't remember what it was, kept hitting the window. Looked to me like "he" thought he'd found himself a girlfriend, in his reflection, and couldn't understand why he couldn't get her to respond! The bird was gone the next day.