When we show our respect for the other living things, they respond with respect for us.----Arapaho Proverb

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Each season the hummingbirds keep me amused with all their flying acrobatics and rivalry for the feeder.  I read somewhere that if you hang three feeders it makes it impossible for one little piggy to guard them all and they will settle down and share nicely with one another.  It didn't work!!  So now I am back to just one feeder.  And on occasion I HAVE seen two eating at the same time, barely tolerating each other, but sharing none the less.  So much for the experts!!

All day long I can hear the beating of their tiny wings, like itty bitty weed whacker motors. We have a few regulars and they each have their own personalities and traits.  One female is the most diminutive little hummingbird I have ever seen.  She has returned to us from last season.  And what a little toughie she is!!!  At times she will sit high in the giant forsythia bush, (that shelters our bird neighbors from our resident hawks), and guard the nectar, successfully fending off much larger hummers of both genders. I am secretly rather proud of her!

There is another female who is exceptionally tall and has a really long beak!  She just minds her own business, sits and eats her fill, and doesn't stick around.  The assorted males share the feeder nicely for the most part, except for one guy who sometimes hides out in a tree around the corner and chases off all comers.  But he tires of guarding his post eventually and wanders off.

For the most part, this seasons hummingbirds are the most docile ones we have had yet!  Perhaps all the really hot, humid weather we have been suffering through this Summer has made them all less aggressive than they would normally be. I know it has certainly knocked the starch out of my sails!!! Most of the time I feel like a human glue stick!!!

I really do enjoy each and every one of them, and yet, every time I see (or hear) a hummer at the feeder, I am reminded of a most delightful little fellow who graced us with his presence a few years in a row.  And although it's been a couple of years now since he was last seen, I think about him often.  He was a very special little guy, so much so that I even wrote a poem about him that I would like to share with you today.


There's a funny little hummingbird
Of whom I wish to speak,
He's quite the personality
And I fondly call him Squeak.

For each time he arrives
At our feeder for a meal,
He hovers for a moment
Then gives a tiny squeal.

It sounds so very pleasant
Though I really can't perceive
If he's greeting me most warmly
Or informing me to leave.

I know he hates it awfully
When ants pace around at random
He chips and squeaks most crossly
And throws a little tantrum.

He's quite the epicurean
Who's not afraid to say,
"Hey!  This nectar needs replacing,
Please see to it today!"

I look forward to his visits
For he's such a little dear,
And I love to hear that little squeak
Each time he does appear.

With mighty wings that beat so fast
They sound just like an engine,
He's such a tiny miracle;
A most profound invention!

He fills my heart with gladness
Every time that we thus meet,
And I wish for him the very best
Each time he comes to eat.

I don't imagine that after all this time he is still among us, but he shall live on forever in my heart. Thank you Squeak, for all the joy you once brought into my life!!  I miss you!!!

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