"...The only problem is, they’re so beautiful, so beautiful. Sometimes one materializes right where we’re sitting and hangs in the air like a thought, watching us, wondering whether we’re good to eat."
"The Aztec god of war, Huitzilopochtli, was represented as a hummingbird for a reason. They are tiny badass warriors."
comment from www.balloon-juice.com article by Ann Finkbeiner
Tags: Allen's Hummingbird Hummingbird Garden monkey Flower monkey SCBG South Coast Botanic Garden southern california birds Bird watching Bird watching Los Angeles hummingbastard tiny and fast Selasphorus sasin Colibri d'Allen colibri de Allen Lightroom lind Wesen Canon Camaraderie 100-400 80D canon 80 D palos verdes birds pekabo90401 Friendship Fugl oiseau chim tiny feetsies
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Happy New Year....
2020 is almost here.
Wait. A hummer perched on a rose bloom? And it seemed like 3 hummers were sharing. Strange. Perhaps they are still in the Holiday spirit?
The following text doesn't explain what we saw but it is an enjoyable read.
Mainly it was the hummingbirds. They make little cherk noises, they roar around, they vroom. They hover in the light, their wings backlit and translucent, like tiny angels.
We’d hung a hummingbird feeder across the porch from the goldfinch feeder. Goldfinches fly to and from the feeder in looping catenaries. Hummingbirds don’t fly in, they apparently have warp drive – they simply appear out of thin air, feed, and disappear. Sometimes one changes places on the feeder by lifting straight up, backing up, moving sideways, landing, feeding again, lifting straight up again and then plinking right out of space-time. They’re just so enchanting.
The National Zoo says hummingbirds’ wings beat 70 times a second; their hearts beat 1,200 times a minute. Which must be the reason that I think they have warp drive – they’re living so much faster than me, they’re living on amped-up time. They’re not only fast, they’re durable; they migrate south for 18 to 20 hours straight. They manage this live-fast, go-hard style by going occasionally into small hibernations called torpor: I suspect I’ve seen this on a hummingbird cam at the University of Arizona, because sometimes that one baby conked out so thoroughly I thought the camera had frozen. When they wake up again, they go 30 mph; the males, says the National Zoo, go over 45 mph “during courtship dives.”
This is the first step into the dark side. Think about it: the male is heading straight for earth or a stunned female at 45 mph and pulls up at the last second. No female with her wits about her would mate with someone like that. But the females go ahead anyway because mating turns out to be no big deal: hummingbirds don’t pair-bond, the males don’t stick around, and the National Zoo says that any help the female might get with food and childcare “does not outweigh the burden of having a male around competing for food.”
This is the next step into the dark side. Sparrows and goldfinches share. Sparrows roam in small gangs, land in the same patch of grass, and hop around looking for bugs and comparing notes. Goldfinches won’t share feeders with sparrows but will with other goldfinches, in a pinch, even with other goldfinches of the same sex. Hummingbirds share feeders with no one.
A hummingbird is feeding, another hummingbird comes in, the first one chases it, staying on its tail like a jet fighter, straight up into the sky, and neither one comes back. Hummingbirds would rather go hungry than share feeders. The National Zoo explains that hummingbirds compete so fiercely for nectar because flowers take a while to re-stock and nectar is scarce. The National Zoo is either being kind or it’s wrong about Baltimore hummingbirds. Our neighborhood is dense with hummingbird feeders, five within rock-throwing distance, boundless bounty. A hummingbird is like the neighborhood cat that kills things — it’s not hungry, it just likes killing. A hummingbird isn’t going to go hungry, it just can’t stand knowing another hummingbird exists. Goldfinches and sparrows talk quietly among themselves; hummingbirds talk only to tell each other to get the fucking hell out of here and do it now.
Yesterday Erik wrote a wise and balanced post about a similarly uncivil bird: “It opens the door for something a little like redemption. Our selfishness, our greed for the best resources, this is a part of who we are. And by acknowledging that, by casting it into the light, it means that our worst natures don’t have to define us. We have the choice to be something better.” But Erik is talking about sibling rivalry which everyone knows is, at bottom, realistic and understandable behavior. And I’m talking about knee-jerk, misanthropic ill-will, no possible redemption whatever. My world would look kinder if I got them off the porch.
The only problem is, they’re so beautiful, so beautiful. Sometimes one materializes right where we’re sitting and hangs in the air like a thought, watching us, wondering whether we’re good to eat."
Tags: Allen's Hummingbird Hummingbird SCBG South Coast Botanic Garden Garden monkey Flower monkey Happy New Year Happy Holidays! Bonne Année ¡ Feliz Año Nuevo! Blwyddyn Newydd Dda Buon anno Frohes Neues Jahr Gelukkig Nieuwjaar Gleðilegt nýtt ár Selasphorus sasin Colibri d'Allen colibri de Allen Bird watching Bird watching Los Angeles pekabo90401 Lightroom oiseau Wesen birdwatching with W9 southern california birds 100-400 80D canon 80 D Canon Camaraderie chim Friendship Fugl we dipped on the rare flycatcher where is Franz????? where is Jerome????
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Ducks Ducks Ducks!
I had so much fun watching ducks yesterday. And today I had fun kicking up the sharpness and color. I posted a before so that you see the results of a little tinkering with post processing.
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Merry Christmas.....was Happy Thanksgiving to all my flickr monkeys....
"If you take a walk in the woods on a summer evening, you may be treated to the ethereal, flute-like song of the hermit thrush, often the only bird still singing at dusk (and the first bird to sing in the morning). In 1882, naturalist Montague Chamberlain described it as a “vesper hymn that flows so gently out upon the hushed air of the gathering twilight.” The hermit thrush, once nicknamed American nightingale, is among North America’s finest songsters; its beautiful song is one of the reasons Vermont chose the hermit thrush as its state bird.
The hermit thrush is one of the first woodland migrants to return to northern New England in spring. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of this brown bird with a white breast dotted with black and a rusty rump and tail, perched on a log, flicking its tail up and down. ...
Extensive research has been conducted on the hermit thrush’s exquisite song. Analysis of spectrograms (graphs of sound frequencies) has shown that the songs of individual hermit thrushes are quite different. Male thrushes have a repertoire of seven to thirteen song types. No two birds sing the same song. The males sing with variety, never repeating the same song type consecutively. Researchers believe it is the female who has shaped the songs of male hermit thrushes over the eons. Males with certain singing characteristics are chosen to be fathers, and those singing behaviors are perpetuated. The melodies of the hermit thrush follow the same mathematical principles that underlie many musical scales. The males favor harmonic chords similar to those in human music.
Perhaps this is why the song of the hermit thrush is so appealing to us. Wrote naturalist John Burroughs, “Mounting toward the upland again, I pause reverently as the hush and stillness of twilight come upon the woods… And as the hermit thrush’s evening hymn goes up from the deep solitude below me, I experience that serene exaltation of sentiment of which music, literature, and religion are but the faint types and symbols.”
by Susan Shea, a naturalist, writer and conservation consultant who lives in Brookfield, Vermont.
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