Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hunk the Hummingbird

Many years ago, I purchased my first hummingbird feeders and watched with amazement the aerobatics of the tiny little creatures as they hovered around, slurping up sugar water that I had provided for them. As I have moved from one home to another over time, I have always taken my feeders with me, and have cultivated a new hummingbird flock at each of my houses.

When I lived in my previous home, I put out my feeders one spring and soon had a series of birds that would swoop and swarm at each other, fighting for territory and chirping away the whole time. There were so many of them, they seemed to think of me as inconsequential in their existence. One day, as an experiment, I found a bright red Christmas bow and placed it on the end of my finger. I stationed myself around the feeder and stood as still as I could.

It wasn't long before I attracted an immature male. His throat was mostly white, but right in the center underneath his beak, he had a bright crimson spot where his adult male feathers and coloration were starting to come in. He appeared to have a ruby stud placed on his neck. Over time, this little bird would hover inches from my hand as I held out the bow, and sometimes when I was watering my houseplants outside, he would actually hover between me and the rainbow of water that sprayed forth from the watering wand I used. I decided to name him. "Stud" was the perfect name, as it represented the ruby-red spot on his neck.

I called my mom to tell her that I had a new pet. I described the hummingbird to her and told her that I had named him Stud. She was delighted by the story and amazed that I had been able to draw him so near to me.

A few weeks later, I saw my brother and mentioned that I had almost "trained" a hummingbird to land on my finger. He replied, "Yeah, Mama told me. She said you named him 'Hunk'."

My mom has a way with words...she might not always get it right, but she damn well knows the general concepts...



Blogger jay lassiter said...

i am spoiled with hummingbirds.
so many it's an embarrassment of riches.

7/20/2006 05:53:00 PM  

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