Hummers of the tiny kind

This is not about the gas-guzzling, monstrosities some people drive but rather the itty bitty helicopters of the bird world.

Hummingbirds. I, like many, love watching them. Unfortunately, I had to rescue one today who could not find his way out of my porch (just fly about 12 inches lower, birdy). Looked like a ruby-throated and he stayed in my hand until he caught his breath then he was gone in a blink.

Today, the hummers were particularly active buzzing around the feeder and chasing each other off, so I grabbed my camera and focused on the feeder. They are impossible to follow — speeding little bullets going forward, backwards, up and down — even bouncing off each other in the fight for the feeder.

Almost all the hummers were female rufous and black-chinned hummers. This female was checking me out:

She wasn’t sure if my clicking camera was dangerous.

She grabbed a sip then sped away.Then came back. Several times.

I have had more than one hummer feeding peacefully, but not today. If this happened:

One grabs a sip and another would zip in with a flurry and both would shoot off with sharp chirps.

I have seen one bump into another sending each other shooting in the opposite direction when fighting over the feeder.  I’m continually amazed at how resilient they are — haven’t found any on the ground. They zip around the house, on the porch, through the carport at the speed of tiny jet planes.

One of my morning pleasures is sitting on the porch with a mug of tea and watching them zoom around around the feeder and buzzing around the porch. I have another feeder hanging outside of the window over the kitchen sink. That’s my close-up and personal view.

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5 thoughts on “Hummers of the tiny kind

  1. This morning I caught sight of a hummingbird on my patio for the first time! Every morning, I go out there with my coffee and newspaper and three cats. I heard a tiny chirping and looked up to see the tiny bird darting from one flower to another on the mandevilla plant. It was gone in less than 30 seconds. The cats weren’t even aware of it!

    1. Put up a feeder and you will see them all the time. It amazes me how they know the location of a feeder. I suppose the color helps or repeat location. I’ve had them hovering at a window and when I go outside find out the feeder is empty. (Or, I haven’t put them out yet.)

  2. Sorry to be so late on commenting! These photos are spectacular. They’re not the easiest birds to photograph, but you’ve done a fantastic job.

    Our hummingbirds have all gone south now, alas. We only get the Ruby-throated here. When we lived in BC, I saw Rufous and Anna’s hummingbirds.

    They get caught in my porch too, when I leave the door open. I’ve performed many a hummingbird rescue. 🙂

    Love the photos!

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