An Anna’s, a Ruby-throated, and an Allen’s Hummingbird walk into a bar. The Anna asks, “Who’s that strange fella?” The Ruby-throated said, “I donno, but lemme at him! Imma gonna buzz him in pieces!” The Allen’s said, “Whatevs.”
I know. It’s not a brilliant joke. I hope the pictures below make up for it.
To give you an idea of how crazy busy our garden is, I took a wide shot to show just two of our eight buzzing feeders around the house. This is the slow hour. Happy hour is much more of a mad house, usually five times the amount of hummers in this photo, all wildly buzzing by your head. I tried to capture a few of their best expressions the other day. You’ll see a lot of the Anna’s in the following photos. Yes, it is work to do so much for hummingbirds, but not difficult if you plan accordingly. The work is in the filling of the feeders daily. Naturally, we’ve got that economy of motion streamlined with two, stainless steel pitchers (total of 12 cups) in our refrigerator always ready to go. We’ve hung our feeders strategically to prevent sugar from dropping on surfaces (leading to mold) or hummer poop all over the porch.That’s all there is to it. The entertainment is worth the effort for us!
“Hey, did I say you can come to my bar and drink my beer?”
The first year we completed our garden we only had a handful of Anna’s (green and ruby colored) which stay here year-round. The second year, an Allen’s Hummingbird (orange colored) showed up. They migrate from the Southern California and some as far as Texas come here. Allen’s are totally chill, not fighting hummers. Mr. Wild Dingo and I would watch that solo Allen as several Anna’s tried to intimidate him off the feeder. We were so impressed about the way he handled the bullies staying cool-cucumber calm, occasionally tossing the Anna’s a “What’s got you in such a buzz, you loon?” look. In this way, Allen’s are exactly like a husky. They do what they damn well please. Nobody will tell them what to do. Allen’s are the epitome of “speak softly and carry a big stick” in the world of hummingbirds. Why aren’t we all learning these lessons?
“Did you hear about that floozy Stella? She’s such a flirt, fluttering her wings at all the Allen’s who fly in every spring!” Naturally it’s a Ruby-throated sassing other Hummingbirds behind their backs.
“Scram. Get lost! There’s no room here for you!” The first few years of our garden, none of the hummingbirds could eat together like this. They all fought. I’d rarely find more than one bird on a feeder. Sometimes I’d find two birds. This is the first year all eight of our feeders are jam-packed.
This isn’t a good shot. I had to include because, oh-my-dawg, I caught a painted lady butterfly in the shot and look at the tail span on the orange hummingbird!! I can’t tell if it’s an Allen’s or another migratory hummingbird, such as a Cinnamon, Broad-tailed or Rufous. I’m no ornithologist. I’m just an expert on human and animal behavior. Yes, I feel comfortable saying that. Between my education and raising a cracker and a criminal, I think I have a few tricks or two under my belt in the world of behavior modification. In fact, I’m not surprised to see our hummingbird numbers quadruple this summer. It’s just another example of learned behavior, and now generational learning!
Screeeeeeeeeeeech! (Looks like someone is going to need a brake job soon.)
Their gaze met. For a brief moment, they considered falling in love. But then, in a tacit agreement regarding the futility of love, they went their separate ways.
Even Mr. Wild Dingo’s feeder is swarmed every day. This one is up near his office, on the second floor. We added it because he would get hummers coming to his window every day, yelling at him for more feeders. Now they only yell at him if that feeder is empty. Hummingbirds are fascinating, brilliant creatures!
This restaurant is booked solid! Next time, call for reservations!
“Sorry I’m late. The traffic was a beotch!”
“Oh sure. Blame it on the traffic when we all know you are a regular at Stella’s nest!”
Reader, didn’t I tell you hummingbirds were smart?
Why do hummingbirds hum? Because they don’t know the words. Ba-dump-pah. Corny, but necessary.
Quick update: I know I’ve been away from the Interwebs lately. You won’t find me on social media. I’m just super busy and that’s a great thing. I’m taking a few classes I’ve wanted to take for a long time now so I’m busy getting data downloaded to my brain and working on assignments and all that stuff that’s required to learn new things. Lyme-wise, I’m well. I’m really well. I’m working on just clearing up the left-over yeast that is expected with such a difficult treatment. Lyme also leaves you with PTSD. I shit you not readers. I had a small infection (UTI) a few weeks ago and it literally gave me a rolling panic attacks all night long. The UTI was so mild, and I’ve had them before at this level that would clear without treatment. My body’s own “learned behavior” to infection is anxiety, panic, seizure-like shaking. It’s crazy silly to be laughing during your own panic attack saying “this is sooooo stupid” because you body is freaking out but your mind is like, “oh Jesus STFU!” So any Lymies out there reading this, this may be something you will have to address post treatment. I will write more about my full recovery when I’m finished with my classes. For now, just know we are all doing well at Wild Dingo, including MWD, Loki and Juno.