Saturday, May 31, 2008

Will this hummingbird live another day?

For a couple of days now, we've had hummingbirds at our feeders. Or maybe we've just had one hummer that comes around a lot. I don't know, they all look alike to me. But this is what's been happening: The hummer I've been watching for a couple of days now doesn't even go near the feeders reserved for hummingbirds. That is, the ones with bright red nectar in them. This one, instead, goes to the lighthouse-shaped feeder filled with sunflower seeds. The lighthouse is red and white-striped and doesn't look the least bit like a flower, so what draws it, I can't even imagine.

I worry for it, though. What kind of survival instinct is this tiny, little bird lacking? I've heard that hummers have to spend most of their waking hours looking for food in order to sustain an ultra-high metabolism. Their little wings whir like helicopter blades constantly, and it's a rare thing to see them still. You can count their inactivity in seconds.

There are days when I wish I could be a hummingbird just for an hour. Think of the things I could accomplish! But how do they use all that energy? They use it looking for food! (What a waste. . .but I know the feeling.)

I was thinking about drenching that lighthouse feeder with sugar water, but really, what would I be teaching that little dummy?

I thought about just taking the lighthouse feeder down, but how would the finches and chickadees feel about that?

No, I just have to ignore that silly hummer. If it can't find food that's only a few feet away while it's hammering away at that red wooden stripe, there's not much I can do to save it from itself. It's a tough world out there. The little guys have to learn that fast, or else.

I'm going out now to change the nectar in the feeder. Maybe some new stuff will finally draw it. It's all I can do.

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