Hummingbird — Don’t Fly Away

Hummingbird, Northeast Oklahoma ©. Photo by Laurel Clark. Cannot be used without permission.

Hummingbird, Northeast Oklahoma ©. Photo by Laurel Clark. Cannot be used without permission.

Hummingbirds! They bring us joy and inspiration. Singers Seals and Crofts celebrated the hummingbird’s glories in their lyrical eponymous song. The hummingbird is Papyrus paper company’s logo — every greeting card includes this message: “Legend say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying out our hopes for love, joy and celebration”. And Native American mythology abounds with hummingbird stories and meanings.

Hummingbirds always stop me in my tracks with their flashing iridescence, whirring wings and aerial acrobatics. But best of all, they slow me down to enjoy a moment of beauty with this marvel of nature.

My friend, Laurel photographed this Ruby-throated hummingbird, feasting on nectar one early evening this summer while she was visiting her parents in the deep woods of Northeast Oklahoma. “My dad has hung hummingbird feeders for more years that I can remember. He used to hang six, but this year, considering his advancing age, he hung only four. My parents’ yard has many choices for gathering their nectar from the many flowering plants they have planted over the years. Dad hangs one feeder early in April in case there’s an early bird arrival in the spring. They usually herald tax season arriving on April 15 most years! In past years, I remember it sounded like a helicopter was outside their living room window with so many hummingbirds coming to feed”. Lori shot this photo with her Nikon D5500.

Laurel is grateful for the hummingbirds because her dad at 93 could still feed the birds. They got him out of his chair to make the sweet nectar and in return, the birds entertained her dad and mom from dawn to dusk.

A hummingbird’s delicate grace is deceiving. Even though they weigh less than a nickel, they are pugnacious and can take on larger birds infringing on their territory. They can zoom from 0-60 in four seconds. Cirque du Soleil can’t begin to complete with their aerial feats: flying upside down, backwards and sideways, zooming into figure 8’s, and lots of loop-di-loos.

Anna’s hummingbirds regularly jet over to the Perky-Pet ® feeder hanging outside our kitchen window and visit our backyard nectar bars of velvety Mexican sage bush and lush lantana.

Like Laurel’s dad, I stop whatever I’m doing to watch my own hummingbirds. Just like Seals and Crofts, I never want them to fly away.

12 thoughts on “Hummingbird — Don’t Fly Away

  1. We have a feeder hanging in the front porch that I can see from our office (where I am trying this comment). Our “hummies” are not beautiful in color, but I stop to watch their antics. Our birds continually fight with each other for possession of the feeder. I love to watch them chase each other around the yard and land in a tree. Small, yet powerful birds.

    Thanks Susan, Bridget

  2. Loved this testament to one of God’s special creatures. I watch them fight for position- so territorial. Also they fly into our garage and won’t or can’t fly low enough to get out! Took me 20 minutes to capture 3 of them this week. Happy for whoever designed the butterfly net!

  3. Love that picture!! as well as your narrative re those teeny, seemingly magical creatures. They are beautiful and, maybe because they are so tiny, they are equally feisty. My sister and her husband hang many feeders over their porch where they live in the mountains of Colorado. When I visit, I have to scurry onto their porch under the hummingbird’s relentless diving and noise while they pursue the food from their feeders. Here in LA, a tiny hummingbird attacked my cat when I took him to the backyard where I was supervising him. I guess the whirring noise of their wings combined with their agility intimidated my cat who ducked and dodged the hummingbird’s dives and maneuvers. I remember having to cut the outdoor visit short and carry the cat back inside. That hummingbird was indeed very brave for one so little. Back in Colorado, there are other animals that love the hummingbird feeders….bears and elk. One elk used to visit my sister’s porch almost daily. He would knock the feeder to the ground, pick it up and shake it to get all of the ‘food’ out of it. It happened while I visited. We think it was the same elk every time but we weren’t certain. The bear just stood their and either licked or sucked the ‘food’ out of the feeder. So, the feeders are no longer out at night and, they put fewer out during the day. Most of the bear ‘visits’ in that area, are at night. Wow. Your topic launched me into a whole diatribe re these fascinating little creatures. Sorry but loved the article. Thanks.

  4. Thanks, Susan. I always enjoy your posts and this is no exception. We look forward each Spring to the arrival of our hummingbirds & feel a bit melancholy when the last one heads for the border.

  5. Great post, and nice alliteration, too, Susan Carr. I adore hummingbirds. Long time ago, I had my Medicine Cards read, and the hummingbird is my totem animal. It symbolizes Joy, and I always think of that when I see one of those delightful creatures feasting on the hibiscus blossoms outside my kitchen window. It’s true: simply seeing a hummingbird always fills me with joy.

  6. Thank you for bringing our attention to these fabulous creatures. For awhile I have wanted to hang hummingbird feeders on our deck and so now the project will take place. I am always in awe when I watch these tiny acrobabtic beauties.

  7. Great writing, Susan.
    We have feeders that we can see from most windows in our house. We live to watch the little ones fly around. Sometimes it seems like a show just for us!

  8. I am pleased our recently planted “hot lips salvia” are drawing hummingbirds. As all have stated, it is a treat to watch them feed.

  9. I love the hummingbird too! Thank you Susan for sharing another piece of your heart and soul. Beautiful picture.

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