Friday, September 20, 2013

Avian feeding frenzy

So after seeing a hummingbird in my front yard stacked stone garden at the end of August, I invested in a HummZinger Highview Mini which I hung on September 3

My first observation is that this is, indeed, a superior hummingbird feeder.  I have had zero problems with fire ants or bees.  My last hummingbird feeder was a generic thing that I bought at a big box store.  It was not designed properly and it quickly became swarmed with hundreds of quasi-killer bees (bees are even more drawn to nectar than hummingbirds are, if they can reach it).  It was so bad that we had to spray the feeder itself with wasp killer from a distance and then dispose of it in the trash. 

My second observation is that I don't think there are many people around Centerpointe who feed hummingbirds, because my little guys have been clueless.  Hummingbirds are not born knowing how to feed from an artificial source - they have to learn it either by figuring it out, or by watching other hummingbirds demonstrate how to do it.  It took two solid weeks for them to finally get the hang of it, but the results have been worth waiting for.
Except there is one slight problem:  Hummingbirds are famous for fighting over resources - they are little birds with big attitudes and no tolerance for sharing.  Many people who feed them use multiple feeders to relieve some of the inevitable squabbles.  This poor guy showed up with some of his neck feathers hanging off after having had an altercation with a rival. 
I'm not entirely sure, but this might be his rival. 
These are ruby-throated hummingbirds, obviously. 
Right now, many of them are passing through en route to points south.

Screengrabbed from Wikipedia. 
It started raining today, and today was really the first big day of hummer feeding competence, so I didn't get many pictures before my front window became streaked and blurry with water.  But here's one more for the time being.
Wonderful iridescence.  Remember, this critter is only the size of my thumb.  I was basically pressed up against the glass as I took this shot, and I was using a long lens to boot.   

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