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.