Today I got to watch/photograph a baby Hummingbird learn how to feed from a feeder. It was one of the coolest nature bits I have seen this spring!!
My Mother-In-Law had mentioned that she thought she may have seen a baby hummingbird yesterday feeding from her feeder and a male Rufous hummingbird guarding it and running off other hummingbirds that tried to get at it. She said that the little hummingbird was colored just like the female Rufous Hummingbird, but was noticeably smaller. She also said that it was as if the hummingbird was kind of "dopey" like baby birds seem to be when they first get out of the nest. I told her I didn't know if male hummingbirds played any roll in raising the young hummingbirds, but that it could have been the case.
So, today I was lucky enough to be sitting at my Mother-In-Laws patio listening to the hummingbirds "cheep-squawking" (I mean how do you describe the sounds those little things make when they're squabbling over feeders?) when I saw a tiny little hummingbird colored like a female Rufous Hummingbird land on the feeder. I remembered how my Mother-In-Law had said the day before how she had thought she saw a baby hummingbird and I figured that had to be the one she was talking about. After a second or two a male hummingbird ("The Guardian") came and landed on the other side of the feeder. He sat there drinking out of the feeder and keeping an eye out for other male hummers that would try to run off the baby. The baby hummingbird just sat there sitting on the feeder. After another few seconds, the male flew over to the same side the baby was on and showed it how to feed out of the feeder. Unfortunately that was cut short by a rival male hummer zooming in, so "The Guardian" male hummingbird flew off chasing it away. The baby hummingbird stuck around for me to take some more pictures, but was run off in the end as well.
I don't know if I am "allowed" to link to facebook or not, but I will include the facebook link to my Hummingbirds 2009 Photo Album. In that photo album there is the whole series of hummingbird pictures that I took today.
If that is not "allowed" I am going to include a picture or two below as well.
Above: The dominant Male Rufous Hummingbird. He tends to sit on top of that hook and keep a look out. This picture captured his landing. He is a larger male compared to most we've seen visit the feeders.
Above: The smaller Male Rufous Hummingbird and the baby hummingbird he brought with him. You can see how the little one (the baby) on the right seems to just look "dopey".
Above: You can see the Male Rufous hummingbird "The Guardian" showing the baby how to use the hummingbird feeder. The baby is holding it's head towards the male with it's beak open waiting for food rather than watching "The Guardian" hummingbird's lesson on how to use the hummingbird feeder. This makes me more certain that this is indeed a baby and father hummingbird.
Above: "The Guardian" hummingbird in mid flight. I can tell it's him because he has either messy/damaged feathers on his neck or he has a small growth causing his feathers to stick out a bit on his left side (the picture's right side).
I was so thrilled to take these pictures knowing that I was going to get to share them! What an awesome sight! I need to find out if this is normal for a male hummingbird to play such an important roll in the raising of their young. I will have to do that tomorrow (it's 12:30 a.m).
Gardening Bits -
I was VERY productive in my garden today, but I crammed all the action into a period of about 2-3 hours - I am so sore!! I am so happy with my changes that I made since yesterdays post. I wrote yesterday about how antsy and irritated I was with the way my garden has ended up over the years. With certain plants in places I don't necessarily want them to be anymore, and plants that don't do well in other spots. Soooo.......
Today I took a shovel to my garden!
I am happy with the way it is going so far....
I dug out and moved:
~ 2 Day Lily bundles
~ 1 Lavender
~ 1 small Columbine bit
~ 3 Iris bulbs
~ 1 group of Tulip bulbs
I re-planted the Lavender, Columbine bit, Day Lilly bundles (split one little piece off as an experiment), Iris Bulbs. I split the Tulip bulbs into various places in my garden to make more "spring" flower areas. Once the other sed of Tulip bulbs flowers I will do the same.
I planted some Black Eyed Susan's in my stump planters (I have 3 stump planters total). Earlier in the spring I planted the rest of my chives I had from last year, and some sweet pea seeds. The chives are doing well (although not very full bunches yet, but I hope they will over the years). There are 3-4 sweet peas coming up in two of the stump planters, and what seems to be quite a bit of sunflowers coming up in one of the stump planters (from last years seed I flaked into the soil this spring).
I also hauled 2 wheel-barrow loads full of more horse manure to add to my soil in the various areas that desperately need amendments. It was fast and furious digging, hauling and dumping (I was doing all this while Hannah was taking a nap).
While I was over there by the manure pile, I remembered that there were tons of wild roses in that area and decided today was a good day to dig some up. I dug between 6-8 wild rose roots/clumps to transplant. I have decided to fill in the whole back area with them this year. In the past I had only one layer of them, but it just isn't thick enough (well, not to my liking). I amended the soil with horse manure and mixed in some pine needles to help lighten the clay soil. While I planted the roses, Hannah filled a bucket full of water so I could water in the transplants. She's such a helpful little girl (well.....sometimes....LOL!).
I will post some pictures of my re-vamped garden in the next few days. I still have a ton of work to do, but feel good about the progress I made today in the 2-3 hours I was out there speed gardening.
I hope you have enjoyed my pictures as much as I enjoyed seeing that wonderful hummingbird sighting!!
Have a great week and Happy Gardening!!
P.S. - I forgot to mention that I received 2 huge bundles of Daisies today. I will take pictures of them tomorrow to show a before and after pictures of when/how I "DIVIDE" them and where I plant them. Speaking of "DIVIDING", a BIG thank you to my friends for reminding me of the word I couldn't quite put my thumb on last night - DIVIDE! THANKS.... LOL!!