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Saturday, August 24, 2013

My blog for 8/24/2013 Backyard War

There's a daily war in our backyard, complete with kamakazies, zeros, fighter jets that run into each other and a constant state of stress.

There are two fillup stations, and six jets, neither of which may be allowed to land at the same time.
We make the fuel, dye it red and fill such syrup into the stations which hang across the backyard patio from each other.

The hummingbirds don't hum, they chatter warnings as they dive into one another--I bet their tiny beaks hurt their foes.  They use the syrup to fuel their insatiable running speed, but, we understand, they actually do eat little bugs they find in the bush.  Of course there would be no food if there were no transporter.

Apparently they are getting ready to head south across the Gulf of Mexico and take just 18 hours to get across.  That's an awfully big expanse of water and that's a very tiny bird doing the flying.  But they make the run twice a year for up to ten years. 

And after all my years I saw something I hadn't seen before--they stick their beaks into the feeder holes and then pull out, and their itty bitty tongues stick out for just a second as they retract them into their beaks.  They come with their own straws to suck both the fake stuff we supply and the nectar obtained from the flowers around the area.  I had no idea.

Too bad they're just like people and each wants to keep a feeder to him/herself.  There is a ring-necked male and his mate (who isn't allowed to sup with him either) and a green iridescent male with his buff color mate.  A ruby-throated male runs among them and I presume the plain yellow-buff one is his mate. 

Each jets to a feeder, sticks his/her beak into a spout, then jerks it out again to dive bomb another foe.  It makes me wonder why there are so many little bitty perches around the feeder when only one is needed.

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