No, this is not him. This is an interloper, one of many migrants passing through. The atmosphere around the feeder is changing, quietly, barely discernable, but the King is not so vigilant or aggressive. I see him at his perch and he does exert his dominance but not with the same kind of fury. Visitors get to feed longer. Juveniles and females can sneak in for a drink while the males are displaying and circling, sometimes three at once. I even saw one juvenile duck under the limb of a holly to avoid detection. It didn’t work.
In his book, The Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Robert Sargent says hummingbirds have very keen eye-sight and hearing and the buzz of wings agitates the male into action. The Scruffy King on July 23.
July just eased into August and at some point the drive to procreate shifts to the drive to migrate. But I don’t know exactly when that occurs for our Tennessee resident males. So I check for him at his perches, recognizable by his scruffy appearance and that pillow-shaped ponch, and I watch to see what happens next. Hopefully, he will spend some time feeding and resting for his journey south. But then, if he spiffs up too much, will I recognize him?
For the Love of It...
...the sage sees heaven reflected in Nature as in a mirror, and he pursues this Art, not for the sake of gold or silver, but for the love of the knowledge which it reveals.