Flying Jewels

Hummingbirds have been active in my yard for the last few weeks and several are coming to the flower pots on my front porch.

They can beat their wings thousands of times per minute so it’s no wonder I failed to get a clear picture of this little guy before he zoomed off. While it’s not a good picture, I kind of like the sense of motion.

They were nicknamed “flying jewels” by Spanish explorers visiting the Americas for the first time. This is the best possible name I can imagine for these tiny but majestic creatures.

Hummingbirds actually prefer to get their nectar from flowers instead of feeders. If you do feed them, be sure to clean their feeders daily and never use dyes. It’s a myth that the red attracts them better. What they crave is the sweetness.

Better yet, plant some flowers and shrubs that will also feed butterflies and bees. I read once that hummingbirds can visit around a thousand flowers a day so I’m sure they will appreciate whatever contribution you can make!

They are a migratory bird so they’ll be departing soon but I’ll enjoy them while they’re still here.

10 thoughts on “Flying Jewels

  1. This summer I was blessed with a family of wrens in my back yard. They used the one birdhouse on my barn all summer. (May-August) They are quite animated and aggressive when it comes to other birds which is fun to watch because of their small size. Then a week ago there was a flurry of activity. I counted at least 26 of them. It was like they were extended family. Then suddenly they were gone. Eerie how quiet my yard is now.

  2. Don’t be disparaging that photo! It is excellent. After we went on our 9-day trip to Oregon, most of the black-chinned hummers left. So the Rufuses took over and didn’t even drink, so we took the feeders down. They’re still around helping themselves to the many flowers.

  3. I keep a feeder for the hummingbirds but it is only used for a short while after they arrive in spring and later during the waning weeks of summer before they leave. Too hot for much of the summer here so the sugar water spoils quickly. Also, I read that during the summer when they’re raising young they will get plenty of nutrition from insects and any flowers available (like milkweed, roses, and honeysuckle). At this time of the season the hummingbirds are at the feeder again and going to phlox, joe-pye-weed, and hollyhocks.

    • That all makes sense. I have many flowers here where they can find nourishment so I don’t worry about feeders at all. They bring so much life to the yard I’ll be sad to see them move on.

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