Friday, March 27, 2009


Oh wow, my hummingbird feeder is now on the local radar! They have just arrived, and I've rearranged my feeders to add one for the hummingbirds, and I hung bright red streamers to say to them, "hey, come check me out!"

I love my birdies, and right now I can see pine siskins, chickadees, house finches, juncos, and those graceless house sparrows from my window. The tube feeder has tiny little openings that are strategically placed so that the birds must eat while hanging upside down. This keeps the sparrows from them, as they are perch challenged. I saw why, when one landed on a perch and tried fruitlessly to find a hole at beak height. When he saw it was below him, he tried in vain to reach it until he finally fell off, the pine siskins knocked off their perches as well. It was comical to watch.

Now don't get me wrong, I love all my wild birds, but the rapacious sparrows are my least favorite. I see a dozen little heads peer over the railing, all at once, then here they come, like a marauding band of thieves. They shove the peaceful juncos away from the millet and the staccato beat of their heads reminds me of dozens of sewing machines going all at once. Then as suddenly as they show up, they leave, all in a flurry of wings. The juncos who have been hanging back slowly approach and resume their more leisurely feeding style -- if there's anything left.

Last week, while I was sitting at my computer, which is strategically placed so that I can gaze out the front window while composing, I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a red streak checking out the feeders. It was a hummingbird! They're back! My feeder has six little holes in it and a red top so you don't have to color the water to attract them, and I found this site and will read it carefully and take it to heart. As they suggest, I'll add a hummingbird garden as soon as the weather warms up a little more.

Days pass, no hummingbirds come to check us out. And then, this morning, one small brown hummingbird has been flying within a few feet, looking. And just a few minutes ago, she landed and stuck her long beak into the sugar water. Now I keep looking up to see if she's returned. The brightly colored one I first saw had to be a male. That's about all I know about hummingbirds -- for now!


  1. The males are the first hummingbirds to return, as they migrate about 2-3 weeks ahead of the females and the young birds. Give it so time and you should soon begin to see many other hummingbirds.

    If you would like much more information about hummingbirds, please check out the site listed below.

    Hummingbirds For Mom

  2. Maybe sparrows are right-wing birds. Did they seem to be favoring one wing over the other?

    So how will your birds survive while you're overseas?

  3. Hello DJan. I'm so glad your hummingbirds are back. They are gorgeous and never seen here in England. I must speak up for the sparrows though! I think they were imported from England in the first place, in order to eat up the small insects in the grain over there. We have them in our gardens over here and everyone loves them. They may not be as colourful as your birds, but they are very sweet, in my opinion. Interesting how birds of certain kinds get a bad press. Over here, it is the starlings,which are derided. However, anyone who has seen their multitudinous flocks at sunset, ducking and diving as they go to roost, cannot fail to wonder at it. Enjoy your garden birds and please continue to share your observations with us. Remember, I don't see ANY hummingbirds in England and I love to read about them in your garden. Thanks for such an interesting post.
    Blessings, Star

  4. Yes, Star, you're right: the sparrows WERE imported from the UK, and I hear it's because the Brits missed them so much. We all have our favorites, but now I am entranced by my (so far) two hummers, a male and a female. They are so tiny!

    I also heard that these sparrows are related to starlings, which is why they have such similar flocking patterns. Thanks for the comments!!

    You must be pretty busy now getting ready for your imminent return to my country!


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