Monday, August 29, 2005

Hummingbirds are gone. Sort of.

Three weeks ago the cadre of ill-tempered, territorial and funny as heck black-chinned hummingbirds that cruised our neighborhood and argued over the feeders we'd put out vanished. Poof. One afternoon they were zipping through the yard as always, then next, nada. Migrating to South America, I imagine, although it strikes me as odd for birds in south-central Texas to be migrating in August, which is still the height of summer for us. There are still plenty of flowers in bloom and bugs in the air for them to feed on, and will be for at least another month. For more northerly hummers, I can understand an August departure. Winter will hit up there much sooner--while we're still hitting 90 degrees in October, Michigan may well have its first snowfall. No reasoning with nature, though.

We're not bringing in the feeders yet, however. The other night, around sunset, a hummer shot up to one to drink, then perched in my thoroughly-dead Mollie's Delicious apple tree to guard the territory. It was a ruby-throated male, the first I'd seen since April. Within minutes, a couple of others arrived--at least one black-chinned male and a female of either species. The argued and squabbled until dark, but it's my impression that the ruby-throated male roosted in the gala apple tree overnight. The next morning, of course, they were all gone, heading south. I expect I'll see a lot more of these transients as the month wears on.

Now Playing: Talking Heads Little Creatures

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