The hummingbirds are back…

It seemed we were going to have a year without hummingbirds but…. yesterday and today we have been swarmed with fledglings. Still not as many as years past but no matter, any hummingbird is a joy.

This video was taken last summer. And today for the first time this season, our feeder is teeming with these tiny jeweled wonders.

I hope your morning is filled with beauty and joy too.

can you name the four chambers-

of the hummingbird’s heart?-

rainforest, emerald, hibiscus and ruby.

I think we need more sugar….

The air has been filled with the sounds of zooming wings and chittering voices for the past month. It seems we have had quite a fledgling class of hummingbirds and everyone is celebrating at the feeders!

I have been using 12-16 lbs of sugar a week just to keep two of the feeders filled – refilling 2-3 times a day.

And we had one night of marauding raccoons who climbed up the screen and tore down one of the feeders. Luckily, the feeder was not damaged, just pieces scattered all over the yard. Now, after dark when all the fat little hummers are rubbing their round little bellies and bedding down for the night, I bring the feeders onto the porch to keep them safe from the masked bandits. And in the mornings, when I am awakened by the sound of very demanding voices outside my windows, I return them to their hangers while ducking the dive bombing little emerald jet powered creatures.

What a joy they are – and sooner than we know, they will have packed their bags and hitching a ride on the southbound geese, head to Central America for a nice winter vacation in the tropics. Pretty smart!

The Physics of Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds 1

What vast endurance
must these tiny creatures brave-
such grace
and nimbleness in flight.
Aerial dancers, swift and light,
embellished gems
of emerald and rubies in their wings-
crucial feathers, dignified
by alloyed gold and steel.
How do these trembling hearts
force fire
into wing and bone,
hollow and mercurial?
Enhanced essence of air
streamed from nectar of flowers
elegance equaling
the energy expended.
What formulae of geometry and physics
can prove these creatures?
What wing,
what heart,
what soul?

*** Our hummingbirds, that have graced our yard with their presence all spring and summer, are leaving for their winter homes in Central America. I took one feeder down today to wash and store for the arrival of next Aprils guests. The other 2 feeders will stay up for a few more weeks. I always like to leave at least one feeder out- just in case there is a slow poke heading south that needs a rest and a little snack for the trip.

Glimpses of Hummingbirds

morning chorus of whirs and clicks –
gossipy chatter at breakfast –
hummingbirds

***

hummingbirds sweep through the morning air –
gathering all the emeralds and rubies –
morning treasure

***

dancing thru the raindrops –
a whirl, a waltz, a do si do –
hummingbirds in the morning air

***

filling the feeders –
hummingbirds swarm around my head –
halo of jewels

***

aerial ballet –
somersaults, spins and dives –
hummingbirds in the morning air

***

cedar filled with small jeweled bodies-
emerald feathers glisten –
accented with rubies –
hummingbirds

***

can you name the four chambers-
of the hummingbird’s heart?-
rainforest, emerald, hibiscus and ruby.

The Swarm

They’re baaaack!
Our swarms of hummingbirds have returned – a few weeks later than normal. But this has hardly been a normal year, weather-wise or season-wise. We had a few birds show up in late April, the most we had seen were 5 or 6. Then we had a mini-swarm after the first hatch, with all the baby birds coming to the feeders. They are so sweet. They are too small to sit on the little perches and feed, so they just buzz over the ports. And the nestlings are used to being together, so will share a port while feeding. We sometimes see a baby who still has a portion of the egg stuck to him. I wonder if it is some sort of umbilical cord from the egg. Do birds have belly buttons? Well, that is a subject for a different post!
But beginning in late June, we have been descended upon. If you could actually count the number of birds, which I think is near impossible, I bet we have at least 50 to 60 birds at the feeders, in the air or in the cedar trees. It is just an unbelieveably wonderful sight. I have three feeders, two hang from the screened porch and one is on the line under the cedar trees. I am filling them at least twice a day now. There have been times in past summers that we have filled them four times in a day.
They are a joy to watch and we find ourselves spending hours outside just enjoying their antics.
They will remain until the fall and will start their journey to Central America in October. By about the middle of that month, they will be gone.
Here are a few collective nouns I found describing hummingbirds: a bouquet of, a charm of,  a chattering of, a drum of, a glittering of, a hover of, a shimmer of Hummingbirds. I like them all!

So in the course of our seasons, we have a season of hummingbirds. Hope you find your season to be filled with charm too!

 

Egg Dreams

Egg Dreams

Wrapped in white porcelain, hollowed inside the ovoid sphere,
Does the tiny embryonic bird dream of wings?
Its cells divide and compound its being, making this bit bone
And that bit feather.  Its throat filled with amniotic fluid,
Where its song will lodge. Does it dream of the rainforest
Or magenta petals of the flower?  Newly created feathers
Sprout from cells whose calling are colors of blue or red
Or green. Does the forming Aves dream of brilliant skies,
the feel of the wind under those fetal wings?  Is the map
to migratory destinations written in its infant marrow?
The fragility of bone, flesh, flight, feathers, heart,
Blood, song, wings- does the tiny nascent bird dream?

Kathleen G. Everett © 2012

Whirs and Clicks

Whirs and Clicks

Whirs and clicks
gears and sprockets
ancient augury proves the inner workings of the minute compartments
blue veins and red arteries drawn on parchment
thin lines through each wing and tongue
jewelers settings of  green stones
emeralds from South America and ruby  facets forming the throat
tiny automaton
whirs and clicks
miniature wings beating the air
whirs and clicks
microscopic prisms reflecting the lightest feather breaking it into light and color
encyclopedia of whirs and clicks
tiny automaton floats in air
whirring and clicking to each flower
whirs and clicks

Kathleen G. Everett © 2012

Hordes of Hummers


I am sitting on the screened in porch, looking east across to our little cove, trying to think of something to write.

But there is so much noise that I cannot concentrate! There are entirely too many hummingbirds! The cedar trees are filled with the little rioters. Must be at least 60 swooping through the air, chittering and chirping, their wings whirring.  Could be we are having swarms move through on their way to their winter home in Costa Rico. I don’t think we have had a late hatch – have had 2 already this summer.

So I will make more sugar water and fill up the feeders. We have three big feeders and there were weeks this summer that we filled them 3 and 4 times a DAY. That is a lot of sugar!

We are always sad to see these little jeweled birds go – all are on their way by the middle of October. I leave one feeder out for a while – just in case there is a slow poke straggler.

Then the feeders are cleaned and put away til next Spring – another cycle in the course of our seasons!