Sometimes, in the heat of a summer day, if you’re sitting still (and sometimes if you’re not), you may glimpse a tiny, winged thing not much bigger than a large moth, zip right by, emitting squeaks and beeps. In the northeast, it’s likely a ruby-throated hummingbird in search of a sugar water feeder or a suitable flower.
Before this year, I hadn’t been much on keeping up with feeding hummingbirds; I know you have to change the water often and make sure it doesn’t run out (hummingbirds are voracious sippers), and I just didn’t make the time.
But as I spent more time with Mom, feeding the regular feeder birds like cardinals, house finches, titmice and a few others, I figured we would both enjoy watching hummers through her big picture window. I found an inexpensive feeder, we boiled some water and let it cool, added the requisite sugar, and very shortly, welcomed our first visitor.
Hummingbirds, perhaps because of their speed (or their insatiable appetite), are not as shy as other birds. After a few days, you can risk getting closer for pictures.
I am always amazed at how birds (and animals as well) can so easily blend into their backgrounds.
I recently relocated Mom to live with my husband and I in North Carolina. As we sat on the deck one evening, a hummingbird flew by. That was our signal; Mom set out the feeder. After about an hour, there was one. Now there are four, and they all think they own the feeding station.
I forgot to look for a second feeder today when we were out shopping. I will have to remedy that soon; the males seem to have already left for the winter.
Whether sitting still, or zooming by, hummingbirds can be a wonderful introduction to backyard birding.