Fly-by Inspection

I was on the deck, pouring water into the birdbath, when a hummingbird swooped down to the feeder behind me. Standing very still, I waited for a few moments and slowly swiveled so that I could see her. She seemed to be watching me as she continued to sip the sugar water. When she was through, she zoomed to the right side of my face, about five inches from my glasses. She hovered there for a second, jerked herself inch by inch to my left, continued to the back of my head, and streaked off around the house. I wondered if that could be the same little bird that sometimes hovers outside my sliding door, watching me at the computer.

It’s almost time for the hummingbirds to fly south, but I know the ones here are our regulars. Two of them fight all the time, going through a choreographed dance to chase each other away. They retreat to their favorite hiding places to wait for the next ambush. After they leave, we’ll keep the feeders up for a couple of weeks for birds traveling through.

Meanwhile, I feel other birds are already on the move. A flock of titmice and chickadees came for a drink before I refilled the birdbath. A chickadee leaned way over and fell in the water. He stood there, daring the others to laugh, and shook his wings as if he intended to take a bath all along. I’ll bet he’s the one who never asks for directions on the southern journey. As I watch for birds leaving our area, I wonder who is waiting for them in South America. Have people looked at migration calendars, or do they know to expect the feathered friends we share?

Be careful, birds, and have a safe trip. I’ll look for you again in April.

44 thoughts on “Fly-by Inspection

  1. I think I know where they went to in winter. Years ago, in winter, my husband and I with his parents, took a Copper Canyon rail trip through Mexico and ended up in a little town called Barrancas. The hotel and it’s balconies overhung this cliffside. We would have our meals on the veranda overlooking the canyon and I’m guessing your friends (or some of their relatives) may have paid us a visit, bringing along their many cousins. They are such fascinating creatures. I never knew there were so many variety of hummingbird. I think they may have come from all over the world and no two were alike and in many sizes. It was a non stop show.

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      1. You would have so enjoyed seeing them and John would have loved the rail trip as well. It was an adventure. We too have the Ruby, but I think we have a smaller version as well but I’ve not been able to get a close enough look. We have lots of birds here, but I don’t encourage them because of Chloe the cat, though this year, she has been much calmer (old age gets us all)

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      2. Yes, cats are handy for rodents and such, but Chloe used to be able to fly. I saw her stay airborne (in this case chasing a big dog out of our yard) for a good 30 seconds. She was also good at calculating range and distance. LOL So many good memories.

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  2. I’m so jealous of your great relationship with your hummingbirds! I really need to get a feeder and put it out, I’m hoping Dave grabbed that one I had set on the table at his mom’s on that last trip over to close on her house. Yes, that’s finally done, what a relief! Now he won’t have to keep going over there and can stress about something else.
    Back to the hummingbirds, we used to see at least one or two every year, but we didn’t see any this year. I need to plant the right kind of flowers…as soon as my knee is fully recovered or I can wrangle my man into doing it for me. That’s the worst part of this mess, not being able to work in my yard!! It’s killing me! Now with the weather changing, I’m tempted to get out and try anyway (very carefully) 🙂

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    1. That is frustrating, to want to get out and do things and not being able to. I can sympathize with knee recovery, since I had total replacements in both knees. One went well, and after the other, I walked with a cane for 2.5 years. Thank heavens I can walk normally now, and I hope you soon will.

      Do you have hummingbirds all year? Ours are about to migrate. I’m looking at the bird map, and it seems the ruby throated hummingbird (the only kind we have in NC) has a breeding range of half the eastern part of the US. The line goes from MN down to the eastern part of TX. I’d suggest saving the bird feeder until next year. Our birds return about the middle of April, though yours could be earlier. You might have different kinds, too. Our directions say to boil sugar and water together before putting in feeder. Use 1/4 cup sugar to one cup of water.

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  3. I don’t do well with hummingbirds. They never visit my feeders (which I gave up on) and I rarely see more than one on my windowbox. However, we have 3 large holly bushes in front of my office window. At some point in the fall a large flock of robins will come in a scoop them ALL up in about an hour. I’m usually here for it and it’s amazing. This year will be a bumper crop for them!

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  4. I wished I’d seen a hummer at the botanical gardens but they were nowhere to be seen … I had such high hopes as it was very hot that day. I did see butterflies. I’ve not seen a hummer since my parents had cannas in the front planter’s box in the early 50s. Hopefully next year. I liked the tale of the chickadee that took a tumble and pretended like it wanted a bath – are birds all that different from humans who do not want to appear they did something dumb?

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  5. Hummingbirds are so pretty, but they CAN be pesky. I watched one dive bomb my husband’s head one time and put me in a fit of uncontrollable laughter. Tough little guys! Maybe they are headed for southern Texas (Rockport, I think) for a bit–I know there’s an entire festival held in their honor.

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