CQJP July Block

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Hummingbird Ballet

Several times a day at the hummingbird feeder, a dance is performed as the hummingbirds ( 10 at last count) zip in, around, and to the feeder to sip some hand-made nectar. Turf wars ensue. Some of the females take turns luring the males away from the feeders so they can feed in peace. Sometimes the males gang up on the females to chase them away: other times they battle one another. All the fighting frenzy and jostling for a perch position creates an arial ballet that continues all day, with short intermissions.
 I sat on the deck the other day and took the following pics in about 15 minutes' time.

a male between two females
his green colouring is darker, and his face and neck appear black with irridescent  red

a female with her tail fanned out
it seems as though the fanned tail is a challenge

here you can see the flash of irridescent red on the male's neck
this is a close-up of the pic below

this is a young female
her green is very light but still irridescent

this male is challenging the female

two males feeding together

I sure don't need to watch t.v. for entertainment!
I was changing the feeder the other day, and heard the buzzing of a hummingbird at my back. It drew closer, buzzed over my shoulder and hovered over the feeder, checking me out.
Startled, I froze, and watched the female as she perched on the feeder and began to eat. My hands were still on the feeder, and my face was less then a foot away from her. Definitely a WOW! moment!
She took several deep slurps, and watched as a second hummer flew close. It was not as brave as the first, and left before landing. After several minutes, the female had quenched her thirst and flew off into the trees, and I then returned indoors to watch them from the porch window as several hummingbirds converged on the feeder. The ballet began again.

I hope you have the joy of watching birds wherever you live.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz


  1. How fantastic is that to have the hummer land while you were there, most definitely a WOW moment. Those pictures made me smile.

    Happy Bird Watching ~ FlowerLady

  2. Woww!! Susan what a wonderful post.I love humming birds and love to watch lovely birds..I envy your woww moments to have them so close..I am also don't need TV/internet if I could have those birds near me..
    but alas! I could not able to click them even once when we go out for walking in the forest..lovely post I really really enjoyed .. in fact I always enjoy your posts on nature..

  3. Enchanting!

    You can see that ruby-throat so clearly. Just wonderful!
    Fox : )

  4. Beautiful and enchanting...thank you, we have not had many little visitors this year and it was a joy to see yours!

  5. Suz your photos are amazing. These little tiny hummingbirds are such a joy to watch. I saw a report on how drought has caused a lack of natural food for the little hummers and is affecting their 2000 mile migration. One woman in Tucson has over 20 feeders she fills every day for them. Such a true wonder of nature to see such tiny little creatures and be able to enjoy them. Blessings to you dear...

  6. Thank you for sharing the gorgeous photos, I have never seen a hummingbirds, and I did not think you had them in the US.

    As I put on my blog about the show we have kestrels, barn owls, and this morning I saw our robin he is back for the winter, we get swallows in the summer but it won't be long before they make the trip back to Africa

  7. Isn't nature amazing, i have never seen humming birds here in Oz, so these pics are just wonderful to see. Thank you for sharing these with us Sue.

  8. How wonderful! You are fortunate to have so many and to be able to capture their picture!

  9. Oh how I love to watch hummingbirds, but I don't get the throng that you do! Such wonderful photos!

  10. How incredible! I would be glued to the window all the time if I had these to watch.

  11. How wonderful it is to have such entertainment outside your window! I've tried to lure the little buggers in, but haven't had much luck. I'm not sure if it's my choice of nectar or what. They do occasionally visit my butterfly bush outside my kitchen window, but not often enough. Thanks SO much for sharing!

  12. you are so lucky to be able to see this close up...they are so lovely.

  13. Fabulous pictures - they must be fascinating to watch. We have lots of birds to watch, but I've never seen a humming bird in the wild. Lucky you!

  14. I know you are not here but I thought I would pop by to say hello anyway!!!

  15. Wow! That really was an aerial ballet. I really enjoyed these pics having just had a similar bird fight experience. I was trying to figure out what part of the country you were living in and what type of hummers you have. Looks like ruby throated?? From your header, it looks like you live in a beautiful place....

    xoxo Susan

  16. You're right, Susan--ruby-throated hummers are the only kind we have here. I live in the woods beside a small lake in Ontario, about halfway between Toronto and Ottawa. The header pic is of my 'front yard' last autumn. It is, indeed, a beautiful spot.


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