Reub's journey

02 May 2010

Hummingbird issues

We have been blessed with hummingbirds year round for two years now. They are Anna Hummingbirds, a species that used to spend their winters far south of Oregon. Now they have cleverly figured out that they can get a free meal here all winter long, and perhaps the degree or two of gradual global warming has made the climate just hospitable enough to pay off.

They are spectacularly beautiful little birds, and I would give an eye tooth to figure out where they build their minuscule nests. But it has occurred to me that if they were people instead of birds, I could never be friends with one. Honestly, they have terrible personalities. They can NOT share their (gigantic) feeder with one another, not for a split second, and they spend a great deal of their time fighting. When I tried to fix this by putting up multiple feeders on opposite sides of the house it only made matters worse. They buzzed back and forth over the house, incessantly arguing. If they were people they would be screaming "MINE MINE MINE!!!" without end, looking gorgeous the whole time, like selfish little movie stars.

It has also occurred to me that if they were not tiny, but huge instead, that they would be absolutely terrifying. As it is I flinch when they whir past my head, scolding me for being too close to the feeder; what if they were as big as a crow? Jesus! They would be awful. I would stop feeding them for sure if they changed from being little brats to giant bullies. These scary thoughts occurred to me as I watched the following video, made by a guy in northern CA who invented a face mask hummingbird feeder for people who want to be up close and personal.

I would like to think of this invention as a magical way to get closer to nature, but it is just plain too creepy looking. And hummingbirds don't need the creep factor on top of everything else.


  1. Wow, that mask is ugly. We so rarely see humming birds here and not until the weather is quite warm. I have the feeder up and we did see one dancing in the sprinkler maybe they are coming.

  2. The face mask is scary.

    Hummingbirds are magical! One of my blog friends, once upon a time, used a super slo mo camera to film them while feeding. You can see the individual wing beats - amazing. She counted 64 beats per second. Per second. Wow.

    And yeah if they were big? YIKES. As it is they are perfect. Glad they hang around with you. It is as it should be.

  3. oh my. now, wouldn't you be cross-eyed the whole time? this reminds me of feeding the hummers with my mom last summer here in OH - they give you floral tubes with sugar water adn everyone sits around, holding anything red they can find (lighters, cellphones, chapstick) next to the tubes, still and quiet for loooooong minutes on end, hoping to attract a bird...we looked pretty pathetic. one bird came to visit about 20 of as many minutes.

  4. That is an interesting look at hummingbirds. I don't have much experience with them myself - I've never put a feeder out for them.

    That mask is too funny, although maybe I could make one for my camera and get some close up shots. :)


Talk to me.