LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Guarding the Nectar

A green hummingbird finial tops the nectar feeder in the front yard.  Much larger than a real hummingbird, it serves as a lookout perch for the various birds who want full possession of the nectar.  We have so enjoyed the hummingbirds this summer but most of them have left now with only a few stragglers remaining.  It seems so non-productive for them to spend so much of their time fighting off other birds.  Hardly anyone gets to eat much.  It would seem to be in their best interest to share so everyone can leave on the long journey in the best of shape.

This seems to be a preferred spot.




Although they often use the bill for a perch.




Crouched and ready for a fight.




Proudly assuming authority over the feeder.


As we enjoy watching our migration bringing us other birds, we also are saddened to see the hummingbirds leave.  We will keep the feeders up for two weeks past the last sighting.  Then we will eagerly await the spring migration and these lovely little visitors nesting in our woods.


21 comments:

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

Is this bird out of its range? I thought that the east only had the Ruby Throated, but the West has many species.

The Captain's Daughter said...

I have this same finial on top of our bird feeder stand! Love it!!

Lovely post and as usual, lovely photo too!

xo

Ms. A said...

Great shots! I'm anxious to see the new batches of birds you'll be getting! I never see anything interesting around here.

robin andrea said...

Love knowing that you're still seeing hummingbirds there. We have one species that stays all winter here. It always surprises us to see the Anna's in the snow. I'm still making a quart of hummingbird food everyday!

NanaNor's said...

Hi, We used to feed hummers when we lived in Ca. but then kept having problems with bees, yellow jackets and ants so final tapered off. I have thought about having them here but instead planted lots of flowering bushes so they could get the nectar naturally and also have a bird bath for water-but seriously I have never seen one in our area. I wonder about the bigger birds, whether they chase them away. Thanks for sharing; have a great evening.
Noreen

Rudee said...

You get the best pictures!

Wayfarin' Stranger said...

Hummers are devilishly hard to photograph. Good job.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

What great pictures and the perfect perch! Our hummingbirds have all left--I saw the last one about a week ago, and like you have the feeder up for any stragglers. I hope they have a safe journey and we look forward to their return next year too!

Vicki Lane said...

We have often commented on how much energy they (especially the males) burn in keeping others away. If they would just share... hmm, could there be a moral here?

Karin said...

Great photos! Will have to google to find out where these hummingbirds go from your place. Don't know enough about them!

Carolina Linthead said...

Ha! Yes, the ruby throats are SO defensive of their territory. These definitely are variations on the ruby-throat theme, for those asking. The ruby throat only shows on the male, and then it is only ruby-colored in the right light. This is perhaps a juvenile ruby throat male. Wonderful pics, my bloggy friend! Godspeed, little hummer...

Carolina Linthead said...

And yes, read more about these amazing birds! They are bound for central America for winter. They are marathon runners among migratory birds, and so much fun to watch. They inspire me and enrich my life.

KB said...

Ours have sadly been gone for a month... but I always leave our feeders out until they freeze. One year, a widely off course Blue-Chinned Hummer showed up in late October. He stayed for about 5 days, presumably fattening up for a big flight (I thawed the sugar water for him each morning). My husband wanted to take a compass out to help him head in the right direction :)

Beautiful photos. I so enjoy your bird photos and stories.

Lise said...

It is sad to see the hummingbirds head south...I do believe all of ours have taken off, I haven't even seen the usual straggler:( Your photos are great, thanks for sharing!

merrilymarylee said...

I love these photos! I've never understood the wasted energy either. I mean, if you've got a five seater, why fight over it?! You'd think that because of their size, they'd be too many things they'd need to band together to fight like other birds sometimes do.

As my husband tells me over and over as he's watching all those ballgames. . . you can't beat speed.

merrilymarylee said...

I love these photos! I've never understood the wasted energy either. I mean, if you've got a five seater, why fight over it?! You'd think that because of their size, they'd be too many things they'd need to band together to fight like other birds sometimes do.

As my husband tells me over and over as he's watching all those ballgames. . . you can't beat speed.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Will miss the hummingbirds when they leave for the winter. Love watching them, they are such characters.

Ginnie said...

Sweet pictures. I hate to see them leave too.

JeanMac said...

We love hummers too. One year I saw one in November trying to feast on a snapdragon which looked very inviting. I'm sure the plant was frozen and the little guy tarried too long in our northern climate.

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

Great pics! I always enjoy watching the hummingbirds, wondering why in the world they spend so much time trying to keep the others away!!

Jayne said...

I didn't have the numbers this year I usually do, but have enjoyed them so much. I always worry about them making that migration and look forward to their return as well.