Well it’s officially over, summer that is. And while the date on the calendar tells us or the cooler weather on our doorsteps gives us the hint, they’re obvious signs but they’re too easy to call. Nope, I’m talking about our feathered friends, about 6 of them in total who come calling on us each May, beckoning us with their endless chatter to come and welcome spring with them. Swooping up and down, back and forth and their crazy dances are all part of their courtship to get us digging through the boxes packed away in the garage, dust off the feeders, clean them and fill them with the nectar they love. That they’ve flown many miles through good and bad weather and survived who know what challenges doesn’t seem to matter to them, they’re back again and ready to play!
These little guys are absolutely amazing! They’re the smallest bird and also the smallest of all animals that have a backbone. They have no sense of smell. Because they can rotate their wings in a circle, they are the only bird that can fly forwards, backwards, up, down, sideways and hover in mid-air. During courtship dives, a hummingbird can reach speeds up to 60 miles per hour and can average speeds of 20 to 30 miles per hour (believe me, you want to stay out of their way when they’re doing these kamikaze dives). Hummingbirds lap nectar with their tongues. They can beat their wings 60 to 200 times per second, and they can live 5-6 years in the wild. How can we not love these sweet little birds!
But now they’re gone to their winter home in the south, and it’s such a sad day for us when we take their feeders down. Of course we delay it for as long as possible, leaving them up for other migrating hummers and take them down only when the snow is on our doorstep.
We look forward to each spring after a long cold winter, but we won’t need the date on the calendar to tell us it’s arrived, our friends will!! =j