Thursday, October 20, 2016

I am licked by a hummingbird

So, file this in the once-in-a-lifetime, here-and-gone moments.

A few days ago I noticed the hummingbird feeder was empty. It'd been low the evening before but I'd decided there was enough to see them through till the next day.* Besides, I didn't want to disturb the two hummingbirds who were sparing over it at the time.

So late the next morniing when I went out and took the little tube feeder down, I opened it up and shook out what little was still in it, making my approximation of the hummingbirds' little tsk sound as I did so.

Almost immediately, a hummingbird appeared and hovered, disapprovingly, a few feet in front of me. Then it darted forward and lapped at the last little dregs of sugar-water still in now-open, uncapped tube I was holding horizontally. Then it lapped the little red cap in my other hand, then the hand itself where a little sugar-water had spilled on it. Then it withdrew back into the nearest tree to observe.

I went back in, cleaned the feeder and refilled it, and took it back outside and hung it in its usual place. I waited a few seconds but didn't see my recent visitor in the trees so I came back inside and looked out the kitchen window.  Sure enough, in about thirty seconds it was back, enjoying as much fresh sugar-water as it wanted, and without any unwelcome crowding. Things the way they shd be, at least so far as it was concerned. A happy ending all round, and for me a memorable experience.

--John R.
current reading: THE LAST APPRENTICE, Book Four.

*Note: it's important to keep hummingbird feeders with at least some hummingbird juice in them this time of year, when the hummingbirds who have decided not to migrate are entirely dependent upon their feeders till spring.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

That is so awesome you are very lucky to be trusted so by your feathered friend. My wife and I feed the birds in winter and have had both Chickadees and Finches land in our hands to get seed. My wife has very extensive flower gardens so we do not put out hummingbird food. However we have many hummingbirds that come every summer. More then once we have had them fly right up in our faces as if to say "hi thanks for the flowers", they are incredible.