The Hummingbird Chronicles, Part 3

August 27, 2013

Things in the hummingbird kingdom are puttering along. The birds now favor the left feeder to the point that they are emptying it within two days to the four it takes for the right feeder to be emptied. IMG_2552

The other day I saw an oversized hourglass filled with sand over at Surplus Sales. I made a remark to the guy at the counter that it must be disturbing to have such a reminder constantly of one’s mortality. Do you remember the Days of Our Lives top of show intro?days-of-our-lives

“As the sands through the hourglass, so run the days of our lives.” This reference went nowhere with the guy, and he looked at me like I was crazy. But once I got home that afternoon and saw that the hummingbird feeders were both empty, I realized that Jimmie and I now had our own little hourglass of sorts. And we are the proud caretakers to about a dozen hummingbirds. They are dependent on us to provide the sugar water and they are drinking it faster and faster each time we put it out. They are voracious little suckers.

Good news – Marcus and Suzy have moved in next door, so I guess if we are to go away for the weekend or something, we could ask them to come fill our feeders, and leave some liquid in the fridge for just that event.IMG_2554

The most active time of the day seems to be about 3:30PM. Jimmie takes his waterglass out and watches them girate and frolic. He loves to watch them as they assemble on the feeder’s tiny red rail – two at a time, then a third, then a fourth, all adjusting the way you instinctively do in an elevator as more people board the elevator – allowing as much space between you as is possible. But the hummingbirds can reach only about 5 before the delicate relationship crumbles. Along comes a high-strung bird who hovers just above their shoulders and then dives in, scattering all the birds to the winds.

They also seem to work in twos, Jimmie noted. One will hover over the shoulder so that the seated bird swivels his head around and then the second bird swoops in and sits down on the rail. The original bird is then startled into a fight with the hoverer and the second bird takes the rail and begins to drink.

There is something so soothing about coming home from a stressful day and sitting and watching the birds. Nothing to do about them, just to enjoy them. Now that my hours are longer and techs will keep me at work long after dark, I am greedy for the time in the morning with my tea and the newspaper and the birds.

Life is good.

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