Sunday, September 2, 2012


September is a time of Hummingbirds at Blue Jay Barrens.  Near the front porch, the drone of the little hummers is almost constant.

It’s usually near the end of August that I notice Rudy-throated Hummingbirds congregating in the vicinity of the Water Garden outside our front door.  That’s my cue to mix up some sugar water and hang the feeder from the designated hook in the porch ceiling. 

The first bird is always quick to arrive and others soon follow.  Within a few hours there is an almost constant coming and going of visitors to the feeder.  Day one at the feeder always reminds me of the first day of school.  All are new to the situation and no patterns have yet been set.

By day two, territories have been staked out and the birds are at watch for interlopers attempting to reach the highly prized sugar water.

Visits to the feeder continue, but there’s only time for a quick sip before another bird rushes in the pose a challenge.  The bulk of the activity after day one involves chasing, accompanied by a lot of chittering and squeaking.

There are now four birds that regularly perch within sight of the porch.  When they are not chasing each other, they are chasing hummingbirds that travel in from more remote areas.

The perched birds are alert to any movement.  I imagine they are also attuned to the unmistakable buzz of a hummer in flight.

On occasion, a few seconds can be spared for some preening.

Preening suddenly stops at the sight of an inbound bird.

A fly-by at sufficient altitude deserves careful observation, but is not cause for a chase.

Approach to the feeder calls for more direct action.  I sometimes think that the birds use more energy chasing around than they can possibly recover from the sugar water.