Saturday, August 17, 2013
More new neighbors; or, the thing I possibly missed the most while living overseas all those years
Maybe not the most obvious thing, but there it is. I love hummingbirds. As in, loooove them. The affair started in Tucson, AZ, where Uzee and I put out a feeder and had tons feeding there (and saw tons more at other places besides our front porch). All kinds too: purple-beaked and ivory-bileld and whatnot. Hummingbirds migrate, and most species go hang out in South America during our winter, then come up to Texas and the southwest when it gets warm again.
Since leaving Arizona in (gulp) 1995, we've had to rely on memories, as there are no hummingbirds outside of the Americas, and we were in Morocco, Pakistan and Hawaii. (There were sunbirds, which are very cool and are a relative to hummingbirds; they're small, colorful, creepery things with long curved bills that slurp nectar out of flowers. but they're not quite the same.) Now, however, we're back, and having moved to our terrific new house with horses in the back yard and bunnies scampering across the lawn, we dusted off our feeder, hung it out, and presto! More hummingbirds than you can believe.
We don't get the variety here in MA that we got in the southwest; the only species that makes it this far north is the ruby-throat. But still, that's cooler than words can adequately describe, so there you go. For some reason we seem to get about 10 females to every male, but whatever.
Of course, they can be tricky to photograph, as they tend to move pretty quick. Personally, I like this action shot the best:
And for those of you NOT prone to motion sickness, here's a little video I took out the window of my study, which appears to have been captured in the midst of an earthquake although it was not. This is a multi-bird melee that was going on one afternoon on our back stoop. I was twitchy because I was trying to film everywhere at once, and because, well, I'm kind of twitchy. But if you can get through it, it gives a pretty good idea of the kind of hummingbird mayhem we're experiencing here.