Thursday, September 8, 2011

Birthday Part Deux - Hummingbirds!

So the train table was mostly daddy's idea and mostly daddy's work. "Mommy's gift" is a little more... unconventional. And a lot smaller. :)

We were at the store a few weeks ago, walking through the garden department, when my son suddenly became fascinated by the bird feeders and asked to take one home. I told him I'd think about it. And I did. And then I thought I'd just get one for him for his birthday. (This was way before the whole table thing came up, otherwise I would've skipped it).

Here's the thing though. He wanted the kind you use with birdseed. When I imagined this contraption on our porch, all I saw were big obnoxious scrub jays with their loud screeches, defecating all over my patio and terrorizing my child. This was not a pleasant picture.

Right next to the birdseed feeders were the hummingbird feeders. This idea seemed much more agreeable, so I went with that. We hid it in the closet for a couple of weeks and then he opened it on his birthday. He helped me make syrup for it (super easy to do) and then we hung it outside the next day.

I'll be honest. For awhile, I was worried that my bird feeding experience would somehow rival my patio gardening experience and that we would be left waiting for days on end with no signs of life. I knew hummingbirds lived in our area, but I thought maybe they wouldn't find it or - worse yet - they would think our feeder was somehow inferior to the others in the neighborhood. Haha. I was gladly proven wrong. Within 24 hours, a sweet little family of hummingbirds had found the feeder. And they now visit us at least four times a day to refuel. :) There is a male and a female. They have come together a couple of times, but it's usually one or the other.

This is my first experience with hummingbirds on a regular basis. And I have to say I like them much better than scrub jays. They are very quite. They have a tiny little chirp they make sometimes. The loudest part about them is actually the sound of their wings flapping. (Hence the hum of the hummingbird) They are so small, you'd almost think it was just a big bug through the corner of your eye. And they are SO fast and skittish, that they never hang out for very long. In fact, it's been a challenge to try to catch a glimpse of them before they're done feeding or without scaring them away.

Here are a few photos I snapped yesterday with my ninja photography skills.
You can click on them to enlarge, if you like:

The color in these photos isn't great because of the back lighting, so it's kind of hard to tell what this one is. But the male in the family was kind enough to recently hover in the sunlight for a few seconds. And I was able to see what I think was a copper-colored throat. So I think he is probably a Rufous. Oh! Maybe an Allen's!

It's been fun having them visit and I look forward to enjoying them for a couple more months before winter sets in. I like that our son is excited about it too. The other day he was playing on the patio and probably scared them off when he yelled "MOMMY! I SAW A HUMMINGBIRD!"

Hahaha. We had a little discussion about talking quietly if you want to enjoy the wildlife. ;)



  1. Oh hello, love! Good to see you here! I just found your blog! Your photos are UH-MA-zing! Were you into photography when we were working together? I never knew... Anyway. Now following. <3 you!

  2. Hi Charity...sweet present idea. I trust you already know not to use any color dyes ...but just in case, here is a good article about it.

    We have flowers that draw the humming birds and I love watching them too.

  3. Yes - I was curious about it and read somewhere that it was completely useless (as most food dyes are, I think!), so we just used sweet water.

    I just read your post about the garden gate at your home! The grounds in general look like a beautiful, almost fantastical place. So it seems fitting that you would have these friendly little friends humming about. :)

    When I get land someday, and a garden, I think I will be sure to plant the kinds of flowers that hummingbirds find most delicious. :)


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