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August 23, 2015 / Rae Spencer

The Hummingbirds

Hummingbird August 23

Today was a fretful day for the hummingbirds. At least three were trying to stay close to the honeysuckle and the feeders, vying for a favored pair of branches in the pear tree. They chirped testily, launching attacks from far less desirable perches in the wax myrtles, occasionally looping the house in frustration.

Hummingbird August 23

They didn’t seem to mind my noisy camera, even when I moved to a chair beneath the tree. They were too busy guarding their airspace.

Hummingbird August 23

Hummingbird August 23

Hummingbird August 23

It seemed to me that every calorie they gleaned from the honeysuckle and the feeders, they quickly spent on aggression.

Hummingbird August 23

Hummingbird August 23

Hummingbird August 23

Watching them, I realized that I have often lived in similar fashion. Wasting my energy on ambition and envy, when it would have been wiser to sit still and enjoy the sunshine.

Hummingbird August 23

6 Comments

  1. jeanryan1 / Aug 23 2015 7:35 PM

    Nice photos. I have the same situation here. I use a large feeder with a perching ring–I’ve heard that it is not uncommon for hummers to succumb to heart failure, and providing a perch gives them some time to catch their breath. Anyway, they are constantly guarding it and driving off contenders. These flying jewels sure are fierce. They get plenty of energy from my sugar mix, but it’s my flowers, particularly the abutilon and fuchsias, that give them the bug protein. They are thirstier than ever this year on account of the drought–I guess there are fewer flowers to feed on.

    • Rae Spencer / Aug 23 2015 9:46 PM

      We always had fuchsias in Tennessee, and sometimes we were able to nurse them through the winter by bringing them in the house. Sadly, I haven’t had any luck keeping them alive over the winter since moving to Virginia. I tried, the first few years, but started feeling guilty each time I bought one because I knew it was going to die. I’d love to try again, though, if you have any advice for over-wintering! Maybe I’ll plant some mallow next year, too. (Does it matter which species? Do the hummingbirds have a preference?)

      Earlier in the summer, I rarely saw hummingbirds perch on the feeders, even though one of the feeders has a prominent perch. But over the last few weeks they’ve started perching while they drink. The flat feeder, they just sit on the top. I suppose the heat has been bothering them, too! Are you expecting any relief from the drought as fall moves in?

      • jeanryan1 / Aug 24 2015 11:11 AM

        Here’s a good hummer flower link: http://www.hummingbirdsociety.org/hummingbird-flowers/ We often get down to the mid 20s here in the winter, and the fuchsias come back fine–your temps must fall lower? As for the drought, weather patterns indicate that we are going to have a very wet winter. We all hope so. I long to hear rain on the roof–I can feel the plants giving thanks.

        • Rae Spencer / Aug 25 2015 3:50 PM

          We usually get a few nights in the teens or lower. Last winter was especially harsh, and the yard lost a number of plants that had previously overwintered without trouble. 😦

          We are getting a bit of rain today, and it looks like we might get more than we want before too long. Wish there was a way to share it.

  2. ProsperityAndCalamities / Aug 26 2015 7:22 PM

    Hummingbirds are so cute! And fun! Great pictures!

    • Rae Spencer / Aug 27 2015 4:57 PM

      Thanks! I keep hoping to have one of those yards where hummingbirds gather by the dozens. And nests! I would love to have a hummingbird nest in the yard! It hasn’t happened so far, but I keep hoping… 🙂

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