Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Joy of Hummingbirds

The autumn season in the Midwest brings cooler, more comfortable temperatures, a stunning array of colorful leaves and crisp, sweet apples ripe for picking. When the month of October arrives, I know the departure of our little Ruby-throated Hummingbird friends is not far away. It's no secret I love hummingbirds. Last fall I wrote a blog about my experiences with these tiny fascinating creatures titled Hummingbird Delight.

This past summer, Bruce and I took great pleasure in watching what seemed like hundreds of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds visit the fifteen feeders on our country property. This post features many of the hummingbirds seen over the last few months. It is time to bid adieu to these feisty, diminutive birds who so skillfully perform breathtaking aerial displays. They will surely be missed.

A common sight on our property over the spring and summer months ~ Ruby-throated Hummingbird

I did not know hummingbirds were capable of opening their beaks so wide until I witnessed this male exhibit the behavior several times

My, what a long tongue this hummingbird has!

Ready for departure ~ Take note of the small red feathers developing on the neck (gorget) of this young dashing male

A little itchy ~ I marvel at the minuscule feet

 A hummingbird wipes its long beak across the branch as if it is a violinist drawing the bow along violin strings

All fluffed up!

A little action at the feeder

While rehanging a feeder, I heard a chirping commotion behind my back ~ I turned around to find these two hummingbirds in a heated dispute

Using their beaks like swords ~ Dueling for ownership of the feeder

Pleasantly plump for the long migration south

Until next year ...