One of the things I love most about summer is hummingbirds. I love seeing them feeding on the flowers in my garden, love hearing them twitter overhead as I'm working out there. I love their curiosity and their fearlessness.
What I don't really like is their manners. They just don't like to share.
I've seen videos of hummingbird feeders with dozens of birds around it, all waiting for their turn at the fountain. I just don't understand how that happens -- maybe those feeders are spiked with vodka or whatever the hummingbird's adult beverage of choice is.
The hummers in my garden won't share at all. They won't even tolerate another of their kind anywhere near them. The feeders are a constant battleground.
As I watered a few potted plants at lunch today I saw and heard the excitement, so watched for a few minutes. Then I realized that my phone was in my pocket and I could take some video. For the next 15 minutes or so I watched the youngsters battle for position on the feeder. Thankfully it was cooler today with a bit of a cloud cover so I could watch in relative comfort.
Each movie gets a little closer to the action. Once I realized that they were too involved with each other to really care about me, I moved right in, almost touching the feeder with the camera. I wish the sound would have been louder, so you may want to crank up the volume to get the full effect.
I always wondered why the bird that was already drinking didn't just ignore the "attacking" bird. Today I learned the answer: those wings will give a pretty wicked sounding slap! Plus those beaks are quite pointy, and could really cause some injury I bet.
After I got all of the video I wanted, I started snapping some photos. Even with the annoying shutter lag I was able to capture some nice shots.
The scene depicted in these photos and videos probably went on for a while after I went back inside. Even though there is an identical feeder hanging on the deck next to the house, this must be a better location. Nobody was fighting over the other feeder.
I may need to hang a third out here in the yard to see if that reduces the tension.
I'm definitely coming back out here tomorrow at lunch, and will be bringing my good camera. I can't resist the hummingbirds!
(Note: all of the photos and videos were taken with my iPhone 4. The photos were cropped and tweaked a bit, but the videos are straight out of camera.)