Thursday, August 19, 2010
My Life As A Perch
The hummers are now going through a full feeder (3 cups of water, 1 1/2 of sugar) every day, so this morning I was out filling up the sugary snack when one of the little fellows buzzed me. Now in the past I have had them drink out of the 4 cup glass container while I was pouring and many times I have gotten a chirpy lecture while I did the refill, but today was different. While I was up on the one-step to rehang the feeder, one brave bird came in to have a taste even before I had it rehung. He clearly emboldened the others because very quickly with my head six inches from the feeder there were six, then ten, then thirteen hummers all buzzing and slurping.
I figured they could care less about me, so I stayed in place and soon they were whirling around my head completely ignoring me. Not sure if you can imagine what that many buzzing wings sounds like but it is quite invigorating. For a few moments one of the queued hummers was so close to my ear that I was ever so lightly brushed by each rapid flap of her wings.
I was engrossed, fascinated and honored to be so close to the critters and then it happened. With a full baker dozen volleying for a place at the trough, there were always waiters. I have seen as many as eight settled on the rail drinking but there just isn't any more room. Generally four to six are actually drinking and another 3 or 4 are buzzing about waiting for a slot of open up. Sort of like the four o'clock change planes scramble at O'Hara.
Well there was one hummer hovering just at my right temple when he apparently decided he needed a rest but didn't want to retreat to the nearest pine tree. So he landed on the eyepiece of my glasses. A magical moment if there ever was one and he made sure I would be forever honored by his presence when he squirted some hummer guano on my shoulder as he flew off.
[Addendum]: I won't write another entire blog post on the hummers that would set off my more serious minded readers but I must add that this morning I was up around dawn to feed a demanding cat. I noticed that the hummers were out in full force and that the early morning sunlight shown directly on the nectar dispenser which meant in additional to just the sheer pleasure of watching and hearing the hummers, now there was an added light show as their wings picked up the early morning sunlight. I was watching fascinated when suddenly they exploded like a star going nova, the cat had jumped up on the deck. The entire charm of hummers had zipped up to a height of about 15 feet, forming a shell of birdlets. It took about a half a moment, for them to ID the cat as belonging and not a threat then they were back at the feeder. Interesting how "we" adapt, amazing what we take for granted.