The buzz is back!!

Oh my gosh, you guys! There is so much going on in our yarden right now, it makes my head spin, literally, as I try to keep up with the birds flitting here and there. A couple of weeks ago we heard there had been a sighting of a ruby-throated hummingbird not far from us, so we put up the empty feeder to draw them in, just in case…

The coral honeysuckle starting blooming, and the columbine is in full glory, so there were plenty of red/orange flowers to attract the hummers as well.

A couple of birds appeared and then promptly disappeared again. We filled the feeder and another week went by with no noticeable hummer activity. But this week a male and a female began to hang around fairly regularly, and today we have multiple hummers buzzing around, vying for the feeder, and generally making spring feel REAL! Yay.

I’m always amazed by these little creatures – tiny and featherweight (0.1 to 0.2 ounces), they beat their wings about 53 times per second! They migrate from Central America (over the Gulf of Mexico!) to get back to the eastern United States each spring to nest.

The males have that ruby-red throat, if you see them in the right light and at the right angle, otherwise it looks dark or sometimes even gold. Females have a grayish white throat. They both have iridescent green feathers on their backs.

I decided to go out and try to get a few photos of our new arrivals. The clouds were abundant here today, so the colors are distorted, but the birds were very cooperative and sat for long periods on the feeder.

Female ruby-throated hummingbird at our feeder, April 14, 2021
Male ruby-throated hummingbird on feeder, April 17, 2021
Male ruby-throated hummingbird in low light, so ruby feathers have a golden sheen, April 17, 2021
Male ruby-throated hummingbird at feeder with tongue sticking out, April 17, 2021
Different angle on neck feathers – still looking golden in the low light
Dipping into the feeder, you can see the green back…
Always alert and looking around to see if danger is near… Ruby-throated hummingbird on feeder, April 17, 2021

In the meantime, our Eastern phoebes are nesting under the eaves and mom spends most of her time on the nest now, so eggs are incubating.

Momma Eastern phoebe resting on her nest

At the same moment, papa Phoebe hangs out nearby to make sure all is well, attending to her needs and protecting the territory. They are both very tolerant of us as we come and go, but we are also careful and do not disturb them more than necessary.

Male Eastern phoebe perches near the porch where his mate sits on a nest full of eggs.

Our little homestead is hopping with activity. Next time I’ll share what the pileated woodpeckers have been up to in the yard and woods!

Here’s to spring and the circle of life.


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