Monday, December 15, 2008

They're back!

Our little hummingbird friends start departing for parts unknown about the first of November. The first few years we didn't have any hummingbirds around here until February the next year. The last couple of years, a few of the smaller hummers, the Fork-Tailed Emerald, stuck around during the winter months; one year two birds, last year about 6.  

Well, this year they started leaving in November and by the end of November we had maybe a dozen birds.  We cut our feeders down from 5 to 2.  Just this week, however, a whole band of them showed up one rainy afternoon towards dusk and we had to put out another feeder. Most of our feeders have 4 holes but we have two that are 8-hole feeders.  

It use to be rare when you would see 4 birds actually sitting on the 4-hole feeder and never more than 4-5 on the 8-hole feeder.  Well, I looked out the other evening and there, on the 8-hole feeder were 7 birds SITTING and many more hovering around.

This photo I like as it looks like one little bird on the left is looking up at the other one say "Is it my turn yet?"  

The other photo shows them all patiently hovering and waiting their turn while at least 7 are sitting.  

The larger hummers, the Green-Breasted Mangos, are more territorial and aggressive.  They spend more time fighting with one another than feeding while the smaller ones are more inquisitive and friendly, flocking around you when you walk out the door and checking you out. The other day my husband went out with a feeder in hand and actually had a hummer fly up and check out his ear to the point of putting its little beak inside!  It then flew to the other ear and did the same thing!

So, even though we live in a rather remote area of the island with virtually no neighbors, we have these lovely little friends to entertain us.


  1. Interesting... I wonder where they all go for the winter? Do they fly south to the mainland? North to...umm...? Whatever, I guess their vacations were cut short.

    Either that or they got hungry.

    And see, if one of those hummingbirds poked his beak in my ear, he would've seen the light out the other end and and thought, "Oh look a tunnel!"

  2. Sharon,
    Thank you for the photos and story! My husband has a passion for his hummingbirds in northern British Columbia, Canada, and I've taken photos of him trying to get the feeder hung up with them launching themselves at him and the feeder simultaneously.
    We generally have them late spring (early June) through to early fall (September)and with four feeders in action, there will be days when he's cooking up half a gallon of "food" for them every day.
    One of the most bizarre feelings I've ever had was to have one land on my brightly kerchiefed head, (complete with hubbie telling me to stay still!)until the vibration of its wings finally made me shiver and scared it off!They truly are an amazing blessing... Stephanie, La Ceiba