The Hummingbird Wars

| 9/1/2012 11:07:24 AM

The human world subscribes to the adage “if you build it they will come”, but the Hummer world subscribes to “if you leave it undefended they will come” – and by ‘they’, we’re talking other hummingbirds (not the military vehicle which adopts the same attitude).

We rural dwellers who mistakenly believe we are ‘owners’ of property know, all too well, about Hummingbird Wars. They occur right here, outside our very windows and on our very turf – literally under our noses - and involve swordfights, high-speed chases, and standoffs: all the elements of war conducted right outside the kitchen window.

The opening shot is subtle … and nearly invisible, to those not in the ‘know’. A barrage of ‘chittering’ conducted from a local tree (conveniently located only a few feet away from the coveted flower or feeder) alerts invading perps that THIS territory HAS been claimed.

Ignore this chittering warning and the second round of defense is revealed: a high-speed humming rush at the invader. It’s akin to a bullet speeding by: you can feel the brush of death on your cheek, but ya never saw it coming!

One of two events then transpires: either the perp flees, closely followed by a B-52 bomber hot on his tail; or a swordfight ensues.

You simply haven’t lived until you’ve seen two Hummers going at it beak to beak. 

Mary Carton
9/16/2012 11:49:28 PM

One year the hummers came in early and I hadn't put my feeders up yet. The little male went from window to window looking for me. If the feeders are empty they will not let me enjoy breakfast out of the screen porch until I put up a new feeder. This weekend I was finishing up a cane bottom in a chair at the table under a feeder. Boy what fussing. I'll post a picture of one of them flapping it's wings at me and fussing on one of my next GRIT blog posts.

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