It's easy to fall in love with hummingbirds, their fast-lane lifestyle, their intolerant response to each other, the occasional buzz you get when one decides to take a closer look at you.
Unfinished sketch of fledgling hummer watching its mother hunt in the leaves above--artist Vickie Henderson.
When you sit among them to watch and listen, you also discover surprises, like two males guarding separate feeders as though there is an invisible line between them. Or when a third male comes along and perches within inches of one of these guards. Believe it or not, they ignored each other. The stand-off ended when the new-comer headed for the nectar feeder.
But the behavior that brought the most smiles on this day was the arrival of three 'white-throated', fan-tailed hummers moving in a fairy-like dance, resembling leaves caught in a mini whirl wind. That's how I happened to notice the fledgling sketched above and its nest mate. They swooped in on mom as she arrived, and circled her begging for food, an eye-catching sequence.
Unfinished sketch of fledgling with wings still unfolded after begging--artist Vickie Henderson.
I feel privileged to have witnessed all this activity, especially the female with her young. And while our Ruby-throats are still moving through Tennessee, I'll spend as much time watching them as possible. All of it will make me miss them even more as the days shorten and they steadily move southward to wintering grounds in Central America.
To see another illustration of a fun hummingbird interaction at my feeders, visit Tripling the Fun of Painting. And for some interesting information about hummingbird migration, visit Banding Reveals Hummingbird Migration Surprises. Also, be sure to visit my new page, Art Cards and Prints, where you'll find a collection of my recent bird sketches and paintings.
Linked to Bird Photography Weekly #103 at Birdfreak.com to promote the conservation of our world's birds.
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.