Hummingbirds

For years my parents have been buying us hummingbird feeders for our yard.  Each one has been filled approximately once, maybe twice, depending on how long my parents have stayed to maintain the feeder after it’s purchase.  Their last trip this summer was no exception – as they left to head back to Mississippi, a shiny new (and filled) birdfeeder hung from our back deck.

But this time something amazing happened.

As we were getting in the car to run errands one day, and I saw a large bug flying around the Salvia in the hedges along the front of the house.  Only upon closer inspection, that “big bug” was actually a hummingbird! It was drinking from the red Salvia bush.  We were thrilled!  It was literally the first time, in all those years of having hummingbird feeders, that we’ve ever even seen a hummingbird in Texas (we’ve seen plenty at my parents’ house!).

So – I’ve made it my mission to actually keep the feeder filled.  And to catch those little buggers with my camera!

Yesterday I walked out to the back deck to drink my morning tea and I heard this buzzing sound, and saw a hummingbird flitting around the feeder.  So I grabbed my camera and waited.  Soon enough, I realized there were two of them.  They were sitting in the trees nearby, and when one would get brave enough to go to the feeder, the other would dive in and attack.  In a few more minutes, I realized that there were actually three of them – the third little guy was smart enough to wait until the first two were occupied with each other then he would swoop in to steal a drink.

With these pictures I tried to determine what type of hummingbird we have here, as they aren’t the green ones my parents have in Mississippi.  While doing my research, I discovered that hummingbirds have an incredibly fast metabolism, and their hearts can beat up to 1200 beats per minute!  Because of this, hummingbirds are literally “hours away from death”, as they need to eat constantly to have sufficient energy to live.  They are barely able to survive the night, and only do so because of a sort of hibernation like state they enter into while they sleep that slows down their metabolism.

The Wikipedia page for hummingbirds has an image that, to me, looks just like the birds at our feeder…called the Bahama Woodstar.  Only when I look up additional information, it appears that this bird is literally only supposed to be found in the  Bahamas and occasionally in South Florida.  So dad, help me out here…what kind of hummingbird is this? :)

 

 

Richard Pugh - September 16, 2013 - 1:46 pm

Beckie I can not see the colors well enough to determine the variety. If you go to this TEXAS website you should be able to key them out. let me know te variety. I am sure the kids would like to get involved in Texas Hummingbird Watch Program. Love ya, GRANDPA

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_w7000_0305.pdf

Richard Pugh - September 16, 2013 - 1:58 pm

Here is another site tat might help you. http://www.hummingbirds.net/states.html

Love ya, GRANDPA

Beckie - September 17, 2013 - 7:30 am

thanks for the links dad! turns out we have “Broadtailed” hummingbirds… :)

Kristen - September 21, 2013 - 2:17 pm

Amazing! We are lucky enough to have hummingbirds that nest in the trees in our yard and we get to enjoy them year round, we have this little neighbor girl who knows everything there is to know about hummingbirds. And yesterday as Ellie and I were reading on our porch swing we were startled when one come right onto our porch not three feet from us. But I’ve never captured pics like these!

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