Posts Tagged ‘Hummingbird’

Hummingbird Migration

October 12, 2010

Recently we advised you to leave your hummingbird feeders out for a couple of weeks after you’ve seen the last one. We’re at that stage now but a friend and neighbor was over Saturday and reported that she had seen one that morning. So, we’ll leave them out a bit longer even though it seems that we may have seen the last of them until the Northern Hemisphere tilts back toward the sun next spring.

As we noted in that last hummingbird post, they’ve been at this migration business a lot longer than humans have been around to watch. Here is D.H. Lawrence on the subject of hummingbirds:

Primeval-dumb, far back
In that most awful stillness, that only gasped and hummed,
Humming-birds raced down the avenues.
Before anything had a soul,
While life was a heave of Matter, half inanimate,
This little bit chipped off in brilliance
And went whizzing through the slow, vast, succulent stems.
I believe there were no flowers, then,
In the world where the humming-bird flashed ahead of creation.
I believe he pierced the slow vegetable veins with his long beak.
Probably he was big
As mosses, and little lizards, they say were once big.
Probably he was a jabbing, terrifying monster.
We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time,
Luckily for us.

Find the Hummingbird

September 26, 2010

We spent some of last week in the southern Rocky Mountains. The willows along the river banks are beginning to turn and most of the hummingbirds are gone. But not all. Here is one keeping the junco company in the willows.

The Hummingbirds Return

April 7, 2010


It is spring and we await our first hummingbird here at the Fat Finch. Hummingbirds, according to the Aztecs, were the reincarnated souls of dead Aztec warriors. There was a time, about a century ago, when many humans believed in  transmigration of souls into animals. The American writer Don Marquis used his fictional cockroach Archy to poke a little fun at the belief. Archy was a cockroach that lived in the newsroom at the New York Sun newspaper where Marquis worked. Archy had been a human who wrote free verse and, when he died, transmigrated into the body of cockroach as punishment. He communicates by throwing himself bodily on the keys of Mr. Marquis’s typewriter. He can’t capitalize anything because of the necessity of holding down the shift key on the typewriter at the same time striking the key of the letter to be capitalized. Nor did he waste energy or time attempting punctuation.

Aztec Jaguar Warrior on his way to Hummingbird Status

Marquis wrote during Prohibition, that time long ago when alcoholic beverages were banned in the United States. It was also a time of wide-spread belief  in ghosts and spiritualism.

But some things haven’t changed in the intervening century: We still love hummingbirds, even if fewer of us believe in ghosts. Here from his poem entitled “ghosts”

you want to know
whether i believe in ghosts
of course i do not believe in them
if you had known as many of them as i have
you would not
believe in them either
perhaps i have been
unfortunate in my acquaintance
but the ones i have known
have been a bad lot
no one could believe in them
after being acquainted with them
a short time . . . .

i remember talking to one of them
who had just worked his way
upward again he had been in the
body of a flea and he was going
into a cat fish
you would think he might be
grateful for the promotion
but not he
i do not call this much of an advance
he said why could i not
be a humming bird or something
kid i told him it will
take you a million years to work your
way up to a humming bird . . . .

Archy was not so ambitious as to try for a hummingbird. He was content with something less exalted:

personally my ambition is to get
my time as a cockroach shortened for
good behavior and be promoted
to a revenue officer
it is not much of a step up but
i am humble . . . .

The revenue officer Archy refers to is not the tax man but the revenue officer who spent his days and nights trying to eradicate boot-legged liquor in those far off days when the government tried to protect us from our vices.

Working our way up to hummingbirds, we’ve put out our feeders. Some Broad-tails have been seen on the outskirts of our city and we’re ready for our first visitors. They’ll arrive any day now. The seasons here march along; the Sandhill Cranes replaced by hummingbirds until autumn, when the cranes fill the void left by departing hummingbirds, the skies bringing year-round joy.

The Return of the Schrodt Hummingbird Feeder

November 3, 2008

We’ve waxed eloquent about Schrodt Hummingbird feeders which seemed, for a time anyway, to have gone the way of the Dodo.  We are happy to report that, for now anyway — and we’re not holding our breath — they have returned and we are selling them again.  As you can see from the photo, they are beautiful feeders and, more important, hummingbirds love them.  We carefully hoarded our last two, hanging them in locations where, if one fell, it would have a soft landing and not break.  That required us to hang them in a garden farther away from our normal hummingbird watching post on the back porch.  The first thing we noticed was that fewer hummingbirds came to the back porch.  They were all out in the garden with the Schrodts.

The hummingbirds have departed from most of the United States but they’ll be back in a few short months.  These feeders make great Christmas presents.  Buy now.  We can’t guarantee how long they will be around.

That is mine! It’s all mine! Don’t you dare touch it!”

July 30, 2008

And so the Rufous Hummingbird goes about its day, not calmly, not peacefully, but with great vigor and enthusiasm. Not for it the placid summer days. Not for it the quiet sunlit uplands. Always vigilant, belligerent, and bellicose, it protects its chosen feeder; giving no quarter and expecting none.

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