Yesterday I was out taking pictures of some amazing cloud formations streaming across the skies, when I heard a loud chittering. I answered back as I often do--and from there began quite a conversation.
Finally curiosity got the better of me and I stepped closer to the pond and overhanging branches to see who was making all the fuss. There was a tiny grey hummingbird. The little fellow tipped his bright eye at me and chittered to me. I answered back--both in hummingbird and human speak--and he flew a little closer. Then he sat on the branch and told me all about whatever it was that was bothering him. Whatever it was seemed quite important.
So I cleaned and filled the feeder for him. This morning I saw him flit past the living room window.
Apparently there is new research out about hummingbirds. It was once thought they did not winter over in cold areas--but flew south for the winter. Contrary to that idea, it appears these little birds are quite hardy, often braving temperatures way past freezing.
They sleep in dense evergreen foliage near houses and fences.
If you do have a wintering hummingbird, they advise that once you put a feeder out, you must keep the feeder going all winter--changing the elixer every six days. This is because the little fellows would have to forage further for food and might starve without the feeders in place.
Now I shall have to name my noisy little visitor. They can become quite tame and have been known come within a few feet of the people who care for them. When the feeders are empty, they will even ask for them to be filled!
I'm looking forward to getting to know this teeny little fellow. I can already see he has quite a huge personality.
Note: Abe Lincoln of http://mybirdsblog.blogspot.com who clicks the most amazing photos of birds in his back yard, believes this may be a female ruby throated Hummingbird.