One of my favorite things is sitting on my back porch and watching the hummingbirds dart to and fro. It seems that they become a bit more active at this time of year and their acrobatics become even more daring and entertaining. Perhaps it is because they seem to be in competition for the feeders. Although there is always plenty to go around they appear to not wish to share. I have tried placing numerous feeders throughout the yard yet they seem to like it better when there are but a few.
I placed one on the east side of my porch when we first moved here. The first year we had so many hummingbirds it was unbelievable. Yet because it hung almost directly over the grill I thought that maybe I should move it. The first year if I was grilling there was one hummingbird that would come up beside me and give me a good chirping, as if to tell me what in the world did I think I was doing. Yet when I moved it, they did not seem to like any of the places I tried to relocate them to. Thus each year I end up putting a feeder in the same place and despite the occasional heat from the grill they still seem to flock to this feeder above all the rest.
Yet today I sit here on my back porch, notebook on my lap and enjoy their tactical flying maneuvers around my head in a means to keep possession of the coveted feeder. Winston does not exactly know what to think of them. I will admit that the first time one buzzed me that it scared the tar out of me. If one is not familiar with the experience they would swear that a giant bee just buzzed past them. And I think I can safely say that most are probably like me and such an event gives a startle likened to a crazed jump in the air followed by a shrill shriek.
I have sense gotten used to their ways and do not give the neighbors a show to get their daily giggles from. Yet Winston seems to not quite understand them. He is not like Sweetie who occasionally positions herself beneath the feeder to just to enjoy their presence. She seems to enjoy them buzzing about her head and they in turn do not seem to have much worry that she is a cat.
As I watch this marvel of creation I cannot help but be baffled at their abilities. During the day their heart beat can race as fast as 1500 beats a minute yet as evening sets and they settle for the night it slows to a mere 50 beats a minute. They have the ability to fly upside down, backwards, sideways and of course straight forward. They dart in and out with such ease and such quickness at times reaching a speed of 30 mph. Such a small bird, weighing close to that of a ping pong ball with a size of only a few inches, yet they manage to travel great distances during their migration. This is a great example to me of the intricacies of nature. Something so simply yet so specific. But then I have always been easily pleased.