Today I finally managed to get my hummingbird feeders refilled. I haven’t been feeling well for a few weeks and the daughter who helps with keeping the feeders filled is in Massachusetts visiting her brother at the moment. But, I felt pretty good today so I made up a batch of nectar and filled the containers which have been empty for about a week.

I’m not a “birder” so I don’t know much about hummingbirds (though I have looked up information about them: see this article and this one about making nectar) Heck, I never even saw many of them when I lived in the center of the city.

When we moved here to a suburban neighborhood seven years ago, we planted hibiscuses in large pots and put them on the deck. I was thrilled to see a whole bunch of hummingbirds show up to feed when the plants bloomed (I found out the ones around here are called ruby-throats). I was absolutely astonished to see one land on a flower stem one day. Heh, it hadn’t occurred to me that they ever landed. Then we planted the hibiscuses at the bottom of the yard, and I could no longer see the wonderful creatures feed, so I went down to the local hardware/gardening store and bought a feeder and a bottle of nectar (I no longer buy nectar as it’s very easy to make).

At that time, I learned the tiny birds have to eat more than their weight each day to survive so I went back a few days later and bought another one, and have always kept them filled since then, starting in the spring when the first ones show up until the fall when the last one leaves.

It has been a real pleasure to watch the little things feed, so I was bummed when I was too sick to refill the feeders. They still had the flowers around the yard but at those distances, I couldn’t see them.  Besides, the feeders are a easy source of food for them.

But, today, I’m happy. As soon as I got the feeders filled and back out hanging over the edges of the deck, my little friends started showing up, and, as usual, engaging in little hummingbird wars. They jockey for position at the feeders, running each other off, facing off while hovering in the air twittering excitedly at each other. They do this at both feeders as they strive to hog both. Every once in a while, one would zip across the deck, and hover in front of me with what I could have sworn was an indignant look its eyes, as if to ask why was I there.

I was wishing I could find my little digital camera to get a snap-shot or two, or at least knew how to work the one on my cell ‘phone, but alas, I didn’t feel like trying to remember what I did with it or hunt for the camera, and I’ve never learned to work the one on the cell (haven’t wanted to.  I feel that it’s a ‘phone, darn it, and why should I have to take pictures with it?). After a while, I got out of their way and went into the kitchen to watch them through the door.  I didn’t want to keep interrupting their feeding – or their battles.

I did a watercolor of a hummingbird a while back for my daughter, and as soon as I get around to it, I’ll scan it into my computer so I can post it on here. But for now, I’m just glad to be able to, once again, provide food for them, and to watch them going about living their fast little lives. They always brighten up my day.

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