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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hummingbirds Perch High to Spy on Human Homeowners

This little fellow likes a view.
       If it seems to you that hummingbirds never quit moving, don't be fooled. Every morning two males compete for the best vantage point from which to spy on us while we sit at the table in our Tacoma home, having breakfast.

       From the very tip-top of the paper bark maple tree, two stories high, they perch in complete relaxation for as long as a couple of minutes, and they seem intent on watching us. I took these photos through the glass, which is why the quality is rather poor, but there was no other way. I had to wait for a chance to catch profile shots because most of the time they stare straight in the window.

       I would love to know what's going on in those tiny bird brains. Is our window the hummingbird equivalent of a big flat screen TV for and are we a soap opera of human life? What do you suppose they find so interesting? Sometimes I think they just enjoy the view from way up there, or maybe like to play "king of the mountain."  After one has had his turn, the other comes along and chases him off. Then that one is chased off himself. Occasionally they will each take one of the top two branch tips and tolerate the shared position long enough to give us double the scrutiny. Is it my famous buttermilk scones they are after, or do I just look funny when I first get out of bed? For whatever reason, we humans and the hummingbirds enjoy a mutual fascination that has gone on all through the past year.

    That's right. I mean the entire year. Hummingbirds do winter over in the Pacific Northwest. I still get comments on a blog post from January 2009, called Hummingbirds at Home Through a Northwest Winter. I hope you'll take a look at it again, or for the first time, to learn more about their lifestyles. Speaking of lifestyles, I hope yours is the kind that brings you plenty of peaceful moments to observe nature and our fellow creatures, with whom we share a world full of wonders.

close view of paper bark maple limbs


Cathy Crandall said...

Hi Candace!
Even through the window those are great shots and you are lucky to have the little guys pause so close.

Anonymous said...

Hi Candace,
We have lived in the mountains for years.
When I first moved here, I set up the sugar water
hummingbird feeders. When they were empty and I had forgotten to refill them, the hummingbirds would peer into my windows until they found me,
hover, than fly off.
I no longer use the feeders, instead an abundance of plants, flowers. They still peer
into my windows, on occassion. I do believe that they know us...

Candace Brown said...

Isn't it amazing how bold these tiny creatures are? And you can see differences in the personalities of individuals too. Thanks so much for writing and sharing your experiences.