The hummingbird feeder is hung in such a manner that we can see it from several places in our great room. The best viewing however, is from the dining room table and we have quite a show at each of our meals. Although it is a hummingbird feeder, we actually have four species that frequent the watering hole. There are, of course, the hummingbirds (HB), but there are also finches, butterflies, and believe it or not, wasps.
To the best of our ability to determine sex, we have two female HBs and two males. There is one female though who has staked out the territory and actually stands silent guard over her domain, perching on either the top of the swing supports, or the top of the feeder hanger. Whenever another HB approaches she goes on the attack and runs them off. Well, at least she does that with the males. When a female approaches she is just as likely to share a bit of her sugary largess, but only for a wee bit of time. I surmise however, that when she is off roaming the countryside the males dive in for their long inhale of this sweet nectar. None of them appear to be starving.
When a finch arrives for a slog or two, the HB approaches and hovers about a foot away as if waiting for this larger adversary to go away. Once or twice an HB has dive-bombed at the finch as if to say, “get out of my place.” The finch merely turns his head and stares at this puny foe and then continues to sup. Once however, we did see our hummer and our finch actually enjoying a meal together, one on each side of the feeder. It was peaceable kingdom time.
Butterflies and wasps usually dine at separate times and without an HB in sight. It is as if they wait until they know those aggressive little ones are otherwise occupied playing bridge or attending church. And so, each in his own turn and time, partake of our offerings and leave with bellies full.
But, yesterday, our lady HB and a lone wasp had a run in. Minding her own business the wasp was happily enjoying breakfast. Along came Ms. Hummer intent on having a solitary sip of sustenance. First the HB came at the wasp. Then the wasp went after the hummer. Then they danced around after each other in a mad frenetic circle, each trying to drive the other away. We watched this war dance for several minutes wondering who would be the victor. Then, as if they were spent from their antics, each one picked a perch and they lapped up breakfast together. Ah, more peaceable kingdom. Sated and ready for the day, they buzzed each other one more time and flew off to their respective homes. She for a trip to the mall, he to watch a baseball game.
Hummingbirds & wasps, butterflies & finches, a delightful mix of God’s critters giving us an amusing show each day. Life is good!