Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wasting Time is for the Birds

I really should be doing a lot of other things today I just want you to know that. There is laundry to do, our pre-marital mentoring couple are going to be here this evening, there is ALWAYS something to clean.......

And yet I have spent a large amount of time this afternoon sitting at my desk and taking pictures out my window. You see, right outside my window I have hung bird feeders. I love birds. I love to feed them seed, and watch them eat, and hear them chirp. But what I love most of all are Hummingbirds. Ohhhhhhhhhhh, I love them, love them, love them. Who couldn't love a bird that sounds like a bee on steroids. I have to confess that I have chuckled more than once when Cartoon Girl starts to duck and squeal when she thinks there is an enormous bee attacking her only to find that the Hummingbird buzzed by. I am a bad mom, I know. Laughing at my children. I hang my head in shame (but I am laughing inside).
I worked hard to cultivate my little humming friends. They are shy and it took me several years of faithfully putting out food and waiting....and waiting....and waiting before one day I saw a little teeny, tiny birdie zoom by. But, the thing about Hummingbirds is that once you get them established and once they know where to find your feeders, they just keep coming back every year. And once they are established they start to show their true birdy nature. They are bullies. Yes, I am sorry to tell you this but Hummingbirds are the bullies of the bird world. They zoom and zoom and generally make themselves a nuisance.
All the other birds are all like, "Little dude, slow down, take life easy, have a seed or two! See how beautiful we are and listen to our lovely singing and just take a chill pill"
But the Hummingbird, with tiny little birdy breast going a mile a minute (sorry, I said breast. BREAST, BREAST, BREAST! I don't know what came over me)...where were we? Oh yes, so the little Hummingbird is all, "No, no, no, you are in my space and you need to move and I want you to move and I will zoom until you do and you are in my space and you need to go!" Hummingbirds have a problem with run on sentences and anger management. AND they have a little squeaky bird voice that I have to think grates on all the other birds last nerve.
And after they intimidate all the other birds they just sit there, surveying their domain and daring other birdies to enter. And if there are more than one Hummingbird trying to use the feeder then there is much tweeting and zooming and hovering in each other's little birdie faces. There is much taunting and "in your face" and "your mother flies funny" and other verbal assaults. Mayhem ensues, sort of like when Cartoon Girl and The Engaged One were in Junior High. It is really our version of West Side Story only without all the dancing and music and gang activity. Yeah, right.
Finally things calm down and someone gets to take a drink. And not a gentle little sip either. No, that bird has his face and beak jammed right up in there and is sucking down the nectar like a sailor on a three day shore leave (no offense to any sailors out there). The Hummingbird bullies cannot stand to be at the feeder at the same time, they just have to take turns even though there are four spots for birds to sit.
The only bird that doesn't seem to be intimidated by the little bullies is this monstrosity. It is a Cardinal without any feathers on it's head. Why it has no feathers on it's head is a mystery. Can birds get alopecia? Is it male pattern bird baldness? The possibilities are endless. I think the things sort of looks like a cross between a Cardinal and a buzzard. It just calmly eats at the feeder while the Hummingbird buzzes around in impotent rage. I have a feeling that feathers isn't the only thing that this bird is short on. He may have been getting coffee when the bird smarts were being handed out.

All the pictures sort of have a hazy look to them, like people's memories of the 1960's. It is because I had to take all the pictures through the screen.

So take the time next spring to start putting out Hummingbird nectar and you may eventually end up with some bird bullies of your own.


  1. I normally don't like birds. The only kind I see at our house are pigeons, seagulls, and herons. But these are so tiny and cute!!

  2. I love your photos! And I never knew so much about hummingbirds before--little run-on sentence stinkers! Interesting--I googled bald cardinal and this was the first result:

  3. Wow, your pictures are really great!

  4. Ok your post absilutely cracked me up with the alopecia and the hummingbird commentary. I read it twice. You know, I have never seen a humming bird sitting before.

    Great post!

  5. Maybe those mean hummingbirds pecked the feathers off that cardinal's head because he wouldn't heed their run-on sentence warnings. ;)


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