The Birds & The Bees~

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Can a Bee in flight balance on the beak of a hummingbird? You, betcha!
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Can a hummer skewer a Bee in mid-air? Yes, indeedy!
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At first I was worried the Bees would sting the hummers, but when I looked at the photos I realized I should be worrying about the Bees.
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It’s good to know this feeder is guaranteed “Bee and Wasp proof” as you can read on the label,
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but it is unfortunate Bees and Wasps cannot read.
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You do see this hummer stabbing another in the back of the head from behind, which unfortunately, proves I have been wholely unsuccessful in teaching the hummers any manners.
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But this is okay. I am accustomed to this.
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I am a mother.
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Cheers to you from The Holler birds & bees~

238 thoughts on “The Birds & The Bees~

  1. Nice set of hummer and bee photos. I’m surprised they will get along long enough for that many to feed at the trough together. We don’t put out feeders. Our hummers have all kinds of flowers the eat from. They are often quarreling over favorite flowers and bushes and chase the finches and sparrows around as well. We have lots of bees, wasps and beetles going for the same blooming plants, but the hummers are too busy quarreling amongst themselves and with other birds for the bees to be a bother.

  2. How fun. Well maybe not if you’re the one getting skewered. How many species of hummers do you get? We only have one — the ruby-throated hummingbird.

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    • WOW!! I heard of a man who cannot leave his home in the LA area because he feeds hundreds of hummers daily. This guy may have him beat! Backyard feeders have brought stressed and decreasing numbers of hummers back up in numbers to the point where they now visit Alaska! But this would be way too much for me. Two feeders max is my rule.

  4. I found this post very entertaining, Cindy. Liked the “bee and wasp free” proclamation, the overload of hummingbirds and bees, the perfect clarity in the photos, and all the antics between the birds and the bees. It looks like these are mostly Anna’s h-birds, but that last photo looks like it might be a juvenile Rufous? Very fun! 😀

    • Yes, I have seen this at The Holler which had me in the ridiculous position of trying to chase off a hummingbird. Don’t ever try this. It is just humiliating….. 😉

  5. I thought about your hummingbird shots and how in awe I was at how many were swarming in one place- because 2 weeks ago I was sitting at my kitchen table and lo and behold there are swarming jays near my bay window- I went to get my camera to see what their fuss was about and there 10 feet from my patio was a rat snake 😨😳 so I know I told you I wasn’t fond of birds but I have since changed my perspective as they warned me of my not-welcome reptile slithering his way to my sanctuary 😉
    Great shots as always hope you’re well 😎❤️

    • Jays will coordinate their attack on a snake. They will pick them up in the air and bash them repeatedly, even rattlesnakes. I saw this in our yard when I was a kid. Roadrunners will kill rattlesnakes, and so will raptors. Birds are your allies in keeping rodents, snakes and bug populations under control.

    • It is in the nature of the birdies. They can be highly territorial and aggressive. That said, there is wide variety in the personalities of individual hummers, just like there is in humans. Some are never aggressive, and most will cooperate, while a few will be bullies. Mostly at The Holler we get cooperation, with some bullies. There was one time when one bird dominated a 32 ounce feeder just for herself. She couldn’t eat, she was so busy defending. Doesn’t seem adaptive does it?

  6. Cindy, this photo of the hummingbirds with the bees might be my favorite EVER. Not just of yours either. Of any photos. It’s absolutely stunning!!!!!

  7. I’m so stunned, Cindy! The birds and the bees, Wow! You captured all of them in the first photo. 🙂 Hummingbirds are beautiful, it’s hard to believe they can be aggreessive. 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

  8. Beautiful photos Cindy you are so lucky to have all those birds in your garden. Although I have a big garden and get lots of lovely butterflies not so many birds and not very brightly coloured either which has always surprised me somewhat but you photos make up for my lack of birds 🙂

  9. I’m running out of superlatives to describe your posts. This is SO cool! Hummingbirds are fascinating, so energetic and competitive. Did they eat the bees? Do they also kill wasps and hornets?

    • They definitely don’t eat the bees. They can’t eat any thing with any sort of exo-skeleten, although their diet is about 70% bugs (mostly gnats and fruit flies) and 30% nectar. I don’t know if they kill wasps or hornets. There are wasps mixed in with the bees on these wasp/bee proof feeders, but I have yet to see a hummer go after one. If I do, I will tell you, because now I am interested!

    • I really thought the bees would sting the hummingbirds, until I looked at the action with the zoom. My son had told me, don’t worry about the hummingbirds, they can assess risk and they are feeding amongst the bees. He seems to be right, although I have read that bees will sting hummers and it will kill them, I have never seen it happen.

  10. Oh what beautiful close-ups Cindy! Hummers are so quick and, since I don’t get an opportunity to get up real close to them in our yard (unless they fly past my face), they can be just a blur! The last couple of photos at the bottom, in fact, give us a view that we don’t ordinarily get, as they show off the plethora of colors and patterns on their feathers! I didn’t realize they could have such a mottled look! Thank you for this rare glimpse! ~Lynn

    • There is even more variety in plumage in mid summer, when the Rufous and Allens are mixed in with the Anna’s and Black Chins. The Rufous and Allens have migrated. Now it is just the latter two and one late hatched Rufous who I think will be the only one of his kind to winter over. I get really excited when a new variety shows up, or when I travel and see different types. They are all so beautiful! Cheer to you Lynn and hope all is well with you.

  11. What an incredible series of shots! That bee on the beak picture is amazing…maybe you should enter it in a contest somewhere! Our hummingbirds won’t come that close to each other. They’re so territorial that a dominant one will chase off another even if he himself doesn’t want to drink. Talk about a lack of manners. LOL! Where did you get your bee/wasp proof feeder? I think the one we have now might be okay but our last one…ugh…I’d find dead wasps inside of it.

  12. Birds and Bees. Well – – – at least WordPress didn’t keep you from posting it. Good thing too; or else we would not know about such things. Once again Cindy, great photos of things most of us will never see. Take care – – – and keep those bottles full for the birds and the bees (and the wasps). I will do my best to keep all the bottles in my house empty.
    Wally

  13. Wow. who knew? And I am amazed at the hummers feeding at one time – my ruby throated hummers will only allow one at a time – it’s a dive bomb war – they must wait their turn.

  14. What a wonderful air show you presented today, Cindy! I’m happy the Hummers are skilled fliers so there are no collisions with bees. Love the two close-ups!

  15. The photo of the bee on the hummingbird’s bill is simply amazing. And your post as a whole is a good reminder to me to get my supplies ready and my feeders hung. It’s time for the great migration — maybe sooner, maybe later, but they’re coming. There’s a hummingbird festival down he coast in October. I’ve never been, but perhaps this year I’ll make it. The area around Rockport and the central Texas coast generally can be awash in hummers in a good year.

  16. Ha,ha – love the first photo, it seems it cannot be real but there it is. Beautiful and incredible shot…and teaches us a lot about the birds and the bees. Very much enjoyed the smiles and sights this post produced today, wish you a great weekend Cindy!

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  18. Looks like the bees and hummers are sharing fine – though it may be the last meal for some of the bees. I tried a hummingbird feeder once and got nothing but wasps. Bees I wouldn’t mind since they are useful and need all the help we can give them these days, but since it was wasps we took it down. We get all different kinds of bees in our lavender though. Birds too.

  19. Cindy, these birds are so sweet! Well, their manners could be improved :)… I don’t know if a bee could sting them… They are too fast I guess. What a joy watching them!

  20. Hummers are such amazing little creatures. I’ve caught them belly-bumping! Mine seem to be weary of stinging insects but yours go after them. Did that one with the bee in its beak eat it? I understand that the over-wintering hummers will eat insects when no nectar is left.

  21. Absolutely beautiful as always. I will use one of them in the next newsletter. I hope you saw your photos in the September newsletter that went out this week! Thanks again for your generosity.

  22. Cindy, recently I moved in to the new place with street name Hummingbird Way. I suspect it is somehow related to these lovely birds. Hope another day to watch them as you do. Lovely pictures as usual.

  23. OK, I confess, I was sort of expecting photos about something else and was sort of relieved with these beautiful ones! 🙂

  24. Hey I have nominated u for the sunshine blogger award:) my recent post have all the details in it…u can check them out if u want to participate in it:)
    Have a nice day!

    • I knew you would get one! It must have been sent for you because it is out of season in your area! You could hang a feeder but he/she needs to be moving on to warmer climes.

  25. Well, I think that’s the first time anyone’s ever showed me the birds and the bees, Cindy. lol 😉 What extraordinary pics. I have to say, like you I thought for sure the pics would escalate to injured hummingbirds. I can see now that they are quite capable of taking care of themselves. Even against pesky bees!! lol Great pics Cindy, sharing them now.

  26. Cindy, I thought hummingbirds might fight but I never expected them to poke each other! In a way, I am proud of their ability to stab bees or wasps! Wow! You caught a lot of action, Cindy.

  27. I think my hummer finally got the message earlier this week when the overnight temp got down t 43deg. Haven’t seen it since ! They’ll be back next year though. The Monarch butterflies are passing through on their annual migration now. Enjoy the mountains, Cuz. Wish I could be there ! 🙂 Hugs.

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