One of the pleasures of cottage life is seeing some wildlife, however small, and one little creature in particular always gets our attention around the cottage. It’s the hummingbirds. These tiny little birds are a miracle of flight, as far as I can tell they can fly frontwards, backwards, up and down, and I believe upside down…and fast too!
There are apparently over 300 species of hummingbirds, which I find almost unbelievable, but…what do I know really…? I mean really…I find them a little too fast to count let alone tell the difference. Around the cottage we usually have several every year and with a couple of Hummingbird Feeders hung from the edge of the veranda roof, we get to watch them in action, and trust me, with a couple of hummingbirds around there is always action.
The round flat style feeder like this Aspects Hummingbird Hummzinger Excel Feeder (6 feeding ports – 16-oz feeder – 8” diameter) seems to be something the little birds with actually settle down on sometimes, giving us a great view of them out the front room window of the cottage. But they will go to the other type of feeder just as often.
I read somewhere that the males defend their territory and I believe it, having witnessed a few of their fights with others. We have a couple of feeders at the camp, infact we have one of each type shown here. I wish I could tell you which one is better, but to be honest, it doesn’t seem to matter. We’ve also discovered that if you run out of hummingbird feed, you can use water and a little sugar with the same effect and cheaper too.
Along with getting a drink from the feeders, these tiny little birds fulfill another important function around the cottage, eating insects. Apparently one hummingbird can consume up to 500 insects a day. That has gotta help…
Here in the east, the most common hummingbird is the Ruby-Throated, and those seem to be the ones we see. The males have a dark patch under their chin, along their throat which…I suppose…explains the name…duh….I’m told they live 3-5 years in the wild, which explains why I think the same one has been hanging around our place for a few years. He is very territorial, and sits at the top of a pine tree not far from our deck where he can keep an eye on the feeders. If another one comes along, he is usually right there to drive them away. The females often have more than one nest on the go and often a couple of little families…horny little things….What really sets hummingbirds apart is the way they can move their wings, which rotate at the shoulder so they can make a forward motion then a backward motion. That’s how they are able to hover and go up and down.
I always try to get my wife to put this mask on when she goes out to fill the feeders…so far she hasn’t done it…but I keep trying….
I was trying to avoid a YouTube clip tonight but this one lends itself so well to this post…well…whats a blogger gonna do?
Thanks for visiting The Cottage Chronicles, c’mon back again soon!
Now that you have read a little about hummingbirds, head on over to Robin’s Woods and find out something about wayward black bears in Nature vs Man. Once you’ve read Robin’s post come on back and find out how to be bear smart around the cottage!
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