Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hummingbirds in Fayette

Each year we see what appears to be three separate "batches" (for lack of a better term coming to mind) of hummingbirds. Each has distinct habits and it's easy to tell when they've moved on and changed regimes!

The first group is usually a bit more skittish and they don't hang out in visible areas quite as much as others. They zoom in for the food and zoom out. They grab "their" territory and defend it heartily.

The second group is a bit more open to visitors and they'll stick around longer. At our house, there are usually fewer in the second group that stays through mid-summer.

I'm not entirely sure, but possibly the mid-group is joined by others later in the year. They may move on, it's hard to tell. I just know that our largest grouping of hummingbirds is always the last.

The last batch is more easy-going and there are more of them. There's always one that finds a perch on the plant holder on the porch and seems to stay the majority of the day.

A friend asked the other day if hummingbirds ever sit still. The answer is an unequivocal yes!

They seem to love the planter (again for lack of a better word... it's early in the morning and I'm racing the clock to write this article!) I put together a few years back. I bought one of those plant hangers from Wild Birds Unlimited in Peachtree City that has metal branches with limbs and leaves to hang plants. Rather than put it in the ground, I bought the round metal stand so it will sit on the porch. I bought a huge pot from Walmart or Home Depot that's made of a strong Styrofoam type material (but it looks like it's made of concrete). I drilled a hole in the bottom, put the round metal stand under the pot with the pole coming up the middle.

I then put dirt in the pot, added a nice hummingbird attracting vine and voila, I had a planter that I could hang hummingbird feeders and plants on.

My dad made a wooden platform with wheels and a rope-pull with wooden handle for the planter so I could easily move it around and now I have what has become my hummingbirds favorite hangout each year.

I keep it right outside my office window so I can watch "my" hummingbird's antics.

Each year one claims the plant stand and it will fight mightily to defend their territory. These little things can be mean! You can hear the "swock" as they bang into each other when they really get mad!

By the end of the year I usually have at least six feeders around the yard in different places. Not sure why, but they share better at the other feeders. The one I have in my vegetable garden will have two or three feeding at the same time. Sometimes they'll fight and sometimes they take turns.

This year the end-of-year vegetable garden group could care less whether I'm there picking tomatoes or not. It's been a lot of fun being inches from the little birds as they feed. They look up, cock their head at me and watch for a minute, then must figure that I'm harmless because they go back to feeding.

I could go on for many more paragraphs talking about "my" hummingbirds. They bring a lot of joy and peace. Sometimes when I'm feeling stressed I'll stop and watch them for a minute or two. They always make me smile and allow me to "chill out" long enough mentally that I am able to get back to work in a better frame of mind. Not sure what it is about them that has that affect, but I know I'm not alone in my sentiments!

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