Ode to the Hummer

hummingbird, hummingbird feeder, poetry

 

 

 

 

What do you see
When you peer at me
Through my window screen?

Wings speeding and then careening
Toward my red-bottomed vial
Flying in place for a while.

hummingbird flight, hummingbird

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your long pointy snout
Fits in a hole no doubt
Smaller than a pin prick.

fuscia, flower, hummingbird, poetry

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet juice is sucked, no tongue for a lick
Liquid nectar like from a fuchsia flower
Whose sugary water gives you super powers.

Belly full, you look at me
Wings flapping faster than a bee’s
Our eyes meet, what a magnificent treat.

I tip my head and greet
Your red-throated magic offering me
A glance at nature’s infinity.

“The daily hummingbird assaults existence with improbability.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters

113 thoughts on “Ode to the Hummer

  1. Pam, this is a beautiful ode to these astonishing birds and what a treat for you to see them so close. It must be heart-stopping and wondrous to look each other in the eye! Your last line sums up your experience and all the magic perfectly: ‘A glance at nature’s infinity.’ 😀❤️

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    • The hummingbirds by our window seem to be used to us now, and to my face pressing on the window screen just inches away from them. So, yes, one at a time, a hummer sits on the feeder perch (and I hadn’t realized that hummers can be STILL), and just stares at me – heart to heart, being to being. ❤

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    • We wait with great anticipation in New England for their arrival. It’s a short visit: mid-May until, if we’re lucky, mid-August. But many in this area don’t ever see one. I think they like our fuchsia and my guy’s sugar water elixir.

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  2. I could watch hummingbirds all day. I have a feeder right outside the room where I work. I read an article once in National Geographic about hummingbirds and there’s one line I’ve never forgotten: if we could understand the hummingbirds’ language, all we would hear are curse words. 🙂

    Lovely poem!

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  3. You have to be quick to pick up all these goodies – snaps and video. I didn’t realize hummingbirds have no tongues; they just suck. You are one of the few people who can communicate with hummingbirds, except maybe Jill!

    What gorgeous fuchsia flowers you have: with the bird, two examples of “red-throated magic”! 🙂

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    • Jill is definitely the “hummingbird whisperer” – I am merely an admirer who takes a lot of photos. So many, they seem to shrug their shoulders and say, “Okay, go ahead.” 🙂 And yes, they love the red-colored flowers we have around the yard. I’ve watched one put her little snout in the fuchsia flower and stay there for minutes. So cool!

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  4. Beautiful poem. But, I really love humming birds. Saw a program about them and didn’t realize how different species have different beaks to get nectar from specific flowers — thus allowing there to be enough nectar to go around. Loved the video.

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    • I didn’t know that different hummingbird species have different beaks, Patricia. I just read that most of these birds DO return to the same feeders or gardens to breed year after year. What’s more, they often stop at the same spots along the way and arrive on the same date! Not bad for birds with brains no bigger than a grain of rice. I’m so glad our hummer family found us four years ago and they keep returning.

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  5. What a wonderful ode to the Hummer!
    And I am very pleased to see your sweet water is not tinted 😉
    My mother used to live up north and she got them by the dozens… I’ve yet to see one in my neck of the woods.

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  6. I love hummingbirds!! I had one come visit my flowers this past week while I was sitting on the porch. They come so rarely that I’m always in shock as I hear them zip past me, at first thinking they are one of the large bees we have around, but realizing they are much larger. Such a wonderful treat! 🙂

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    • Huh, now I do wonder why the fake yellow ‘flowers’ are on the hummer feeder. I never really even noticed them! They don’t seem to stop the hummers from sucking down the juice, thank goodness.

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    • I remember an earlier blog post of yours that shared your hummingbird visitors. We have a suet feeder near (six feet from) our hummer feeder, so we have the huge flicker, as well as ‘regular’ woodpeckers, on the suet, leaving the hummers to drink in peace. 🙂 However, earlier in the season some Baltimore Orioles tried to drink from the hummer feeder, but their beaks are too big.

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    • Isn’t that fun? I know, in the beginning only one hummer was allowed on the feeder at a time. But lately, when it’s either really hot or really rainy, two to three share. That’s more like it! 🙂

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  7. Hi Pam, I am now noticing how your heading photo does change every week. Nice to capture and share the beauty. We have six hummingbird feeders and the hummingbirds are part of our family. Every family member checks on them throughout the day. Occasional competition with bees, wasps, birds and sometimes a couple of hummers at the same feeder. I think we are along some sort of pathway. I can hear birds in the background in your video. Nice to be part of it all! Thank you for sharing:)

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    • SIX hummingbird feeders?! Wow! That must keep you busy with refilling. Our one feeder is so busy we need to refill at least every other day. I also notice the competition with the bees/wasp. I just checked, and if a bee stings a hummer (rare, but it can happen), the hummer dies because it’s too small to take in that venom. We notice that on real hot days, or rainy ones, the hummers will share a feeder with two – three other hummers at a time. Otherwise, all bets are off. 🙂
      Love being in/on your pathway. ❤ Yes, lots of wonderful bird chatter in the background. The most lovely summer music!

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  8. Hummingbirds…oh I love them. They’re so tiny and so beautiful yet able to make it out in nature – I’d love to have one out in my garden but sadly it is too cold for them down here.

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    • A “closeup experience” with a hummingbird is unforgettable. One afternoon I was sitting on the deck; hummingbirds were feeding from the hummer water at least six feet away. But suddenly one hummer came right up close to me, not more than 6 inches from my face. I was afraid she was going to see if my eyes were a flower and try to suck up some flower juice! But no, she just hovered with her wings fluttering too fast to see and ….. stared at me. I wish I knew what she was thinking….

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  9. Sweet poem! I love hummingbirds. I have one that visits occasionally. Every season it hums by my study window on the second floor of my house. I don’t have nectar up there, just a regular ole bird feeder hanging from the gutter. I’ve thought about hanging a hummingbird feeder too, but I’m not good about cleaning them consistently.

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    • It IS a lot of work to constantly change the hummer water. My guy boils water and adds the right amount of sugar at least once a week and saves it in a special pitcher that we leave in the refrigerator until he refills the hummer feeder. An act of love. But I really think the hummers know and appreciate. Truly, after he refills the feeder, they zoom in and hover over him as if in thanks. 🙂

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  10. I never have been a fan of birds because they always seem to be pooping on my car. But hummingbirds are a different story. I like them, maybe because they’re peppy and fascinating and they’re too small to poop much.

    And I *really* like your hummingbird poem.

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    • Admittedly, we keep our car far away from our birdfeeder. We love the small goldfinch and blue birds and even the larger red cardinal. But my guy shoos away the red-winged black bird and crow. WAY too big with even bigger digestive results. 🙂 The hummingbird just releases little squirts of sugar water – who can have a problem with that? Mike – you always have a ‘different’ way of looking at things. Love your perspectives. 🙂

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  11. Oh, how I love hummingbirds, especially when they buzz by unexpectedly on a hike or at a bench. Great poem, Pam. We once had a house sit in Northern California with a very popular hummingbird feeder. I couldn’t get enough of watching five or six at a time, trying to obtain their sugary treat!

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    • When we lived in the SF bay area, we’d get 5-8 hummers on the feeder at a time. The East Coast hummingbirds are much more competitive and fight to be the only one on the feeder. Welll, the west coast IS more laid back. 🙂

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  12. Hummingbirds are interesting creatures. When they are close by they sound like a giant bumblebee.
    Once in a while, it is nice enough to leave our doors open to the back yard for a bit so the dog can come and go as he pleases and the breeze can flow through the house. But one particular day a hummingbird came flying in and I was home alone. We have had birds in our house before…several times in fact, but never a hummingbird. This was awful! They are so tiny and fast and I had no idea how to catch it or what to do. So I ended up opening my french doors in the dining room and kitchen and was able to shoo it out the door with a broom. I was terrified I was going to hurt it. But it got out ok. I have some hilarious bird stories though. One involving my cat.. all turned out well but it was a hysterical experience. Hope you are having a nice summer! We are headed to Maine on Saturday for a week. I can’t wait! ❤

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    • Maine will be GORGEOUS this time of year. Enjoy!
      Yes, it’s scary having a bird fly into a house. I’ve seen it happen in restaurants – and airports – and always feel so sorry for the bird. Glad your hummingbird escaped.
      Your story reminded me of the time a BAT got in our CA house. Lots of bats in the SF bay area. Anyway, the poor thing cornered itself up in our high high hallway ceiling. At bedtime, we opened all the windows (and screens) and closed our bedroom doors. Thankfully, by morning the bat was gone. 🙂

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