Bossy Little Beauties

Several weeks ago, I was sitting out on the back deck, minding my own business, enjoying a moment of peacefulness, when a female Hummingbird darted out and hovered rather furiously in front of my face.

Now, since I am fairly fluent in Hummingbird, it was easy to interpret her message: “Get up lazy woman and hang a nectar feeder!” Knowing it was both futile and foolish to argue with such a bossy little beauty, I enlisted hubby’s help and said feeder was quickly hung!

To her credit, she wasted no time at all in showing up to help herself to several long sips.

Then, before long, a Ruby-throated male Hummingbird was sneaking some snips too.

I say sneaking, because the female quickly claimed the feeder as her own and would chase away any uninvited guests.

Just a couple tidbits of trivia…the female Ruby-throats don’t live up to their name, with their throat feathers being white…

…while the male has a band of feathers (called a gorget) that varies in color depending on how the light is refracting through them. (See, I knew science would come in handy one of these days!). Sometimes his throat is a brownish-charcoal color…

…and sometimes it is sparking red.

Another bit of trivia (and one that ever so slightly diminishes my love for this fine looking fellow) is that the males are prolifically promiscuous! They pretty much mate and vacate, leaving the female to tend the eggs and raise the young on their own. I guess he’s the bad boy of the bird world!

I am hoping that we will have some flowers blooming before long to give these birds some natural nectar, but until then, I’ll keep filling the feeder whenever she tells me to!

10 thoughts on “Bossy Little Beauties

  1. Excellent pictures! Hummingbirds are definitely the most assertive of the backyard birds I’ve encountered. I haven’t seen any this year yet, but they don’t usually show up until my red Cannas bloom. Then, they demand the sugar water too!

  2. About a week ago I saw a Ruby-throated female sitting in a fig tree and I ran to fill the the bottle with nectar and so far I haven’t seen the bird back. I know where they are, now. šŸ™‚ Great shots, Kathy. šŸ™‚

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