Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Did You Know Hummingbirds Battle?

We always have at least 1 or 2 Ruby-throated hummingbirds around, except for in the deep winter.  In the summer, the numbers increase, and today I counted 5 and I am sure that number will grow.  They are fun to watch and if you stand in the same place for a while, they will forget you are there and I often feel the wind of their wings as they speed by.  That is except for when I have my camera, which is almost always, and they seem to know I am trying to photograph them, because it takes quite a while for them to forget me. 

Everything about hummingbird behavior is intriguing.  They are nimble, sprightly, spirited.  They are expressive, dynamic, audacious.  They are bright, iridescent, lustrous.  They are captivating & entertaining!

But their battles over the feeders is especially thrilling.  I find myself mesmerized by them.  They vigilantly stand watch from a near branch to be sure no others come to their feeder, and if they do, they attack!  They make lots of noise (very recognizable after you have observed these protective antics for a while) and let their peers know to stay away.  Sometimes, they actually hit each other with their beaks and/or claws, which are so small it is amazing to see them accomplish this feat!
I was thrilled to capture this photo of two in battle, you can see the charge of the bird on the right, and the one on the left has his tail feathers spread...
I hope you can glean from these videos what I see over and over each day.  It is fabulous, nature doing it's thing.  Better than TV (which we have no channels except for PBS, and don't misunderstand me, I really love PBS, but it is limited in its offerings many times during the day)!

This one actually has 3 hummingbirds battling, you have to be a little patient to get to that point though...

PS, if you want to set up a feeder, use 1 part sugar to 4 parts boiled water.  Mix while hot and cool before placing into the feeder.  You don't need fancy feed, they don't really like it much.  But your feeder needs to be red.  Also, you want to buy a feeder that has a very wide mouth so you can wash it easily, the ones with the little neck are he** to clean!

PSS, hmmmmmmm...if they like red, why don't they like my camera...seems they would be smooching up to it...maybe I need to smear my hands with sugar water...hmmmmmmm...wait, next thing you know I'll have a beak in the cheek, never mind!

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Osage Bluff Quilter said...

My hummers are almost eating me out of house and home. I go though 1-2 cups of sugar a DAY!
I don't boil my water, but our hot water is really hot (we have geothermal heat/cooling system and our water is heated through that)
I make sure all the sugar is dissolved and let it set any where from and hour to over night before I feed the birds.

Lise said...

Wow Patti, that is a lot of sugar in a day! You must have lots of hummers and feeders:) Lots of entertainment!!!