Enjoying Back Yard Wildlife (Hummingbirds)

Our visitor to the new bird feeder.
Photo by Diane Taylor

The Las Vegas weather has been grand the last two weeks. Yes, hot during mid-day, but cool and pleasant in the mornings and evenings with a slight breeze.

As a result, my gentleman friend and I have spent many breaks in the shade of my patio just enjoying the views. Overhead, we get sound effects as we watch graceful airplanes bringing tourists (and money) to Las Vegas. Local birds are singing sweetly. The flowers and bushes are blooming AND I finally have a hummingbird feeder that works.

I have bought hummingbird feeders in the past with disastrous results. Some of them have been difficult to fill. Others once filled spilled out of the places where the birds were supposed to feed and soon emptied. I figured I just didn’t have the hummingbird touch.

The yard in bloom.
Photo by Diane Taylor

But the current feeder? (QVC can convince me to buy anything; even when previous tries have not been successful.) Easy to fill and works like a charm. In the past two weeks, we’ve seen more and more hummingbird action. It’s as if word has gone out that here’s a soft touch in my yard. My gentleman friend even saw a short fight where two hummingbirds were battling over the same red bloom (on the bird feeder).

I didn’t know much about hummingbirds (another subject I missed along the way) so looked them up.

Hummingbirds weigh 2 to 20 grams and their eggs are as small as peas. They are the only vertebrates that can perform sustained hovering and they can fly backward and upside-down as well. (That’s impressive information; these days just getting up from a kneeling position is a challenge.)

Speed is typical of hummingbirds with 30 miles per hour not an unusual speed and 45 miles per hour during courtship dives.

A hummingbird’s heart beats 225 times a minute when resting and 1200 times a minute when flying. Hummingbirds live three to five years and are known to be pugnacious and feisty. They are native to the new world and come in more than 300 varieties. The female hummingbird is left to care for eggs and chicks alone. (Not a surprise, the male does the speedy dive and the female is left with the consequences.)

A positive note: At Saturday’s lovely celebration of life for the late Sandy Fargas, one of the speakers noted that seeing a hummingbird means “everything is going to be all right”. Hummingbirds were on the front of the program for the event. Loved this sentiment.

I have seen great photos of hummingbirds, but I was afraid to get too close. So I took my picture and then cropped it. I did the same with a short video. One of God’s most unusual creations is the hummingbird and now I can see them regularly. Whoopee!


2 responses on “Enjoying Back Yard Wildlife (Hummingbirds)

  1. What gorgeous tiny creatures live in our backyards–or at least, feed there! You have undoubtedly encouraged others to follow your example and welcome these diminutive visitors. Kudos!

  2. I agree that hummingbirds are fascinating. They seem to like my mimosa tree and I spend a lot of time just watching them.

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