Final Flurry & Fotos~

Of flying fairies.

It’s a bit tricky to take a photo and feed a hummer at the same time!

Most of The Holler Hummers are packing on calories now to prepare for migration.

Black Chinned Hummingbirds, like the one pictured above, travel to western Mexico or the Gulf.

Rufous Hummingbirds (above) have one of the largest migratory bird journeys in the world, flying up to 3,900 miles each year. Rufous populations are in decline due to habitat destruction and they are now designated a threatened species.

Some Anna’s hummingbirds stay year round at The Holler.

Responsibly maintained backyard bird feeders have helped vulnerable hummingbird species thrive.

They have brought dwindling population numbers up and expanded the territory of many species.

During migration, hummingbird hearts can beat over 1200 times per minute, their wings can flap 80 times per second, and they often fly alone.

Cheers to you from The Holler’s magical flying fairies~

282 thoughts on “Final Flurry & Fotos~

    1. Thank you Trent. The rufous are incredible. They go as far north as Alaska and then far south into the tropics, all in one year. And then they do it again! დ

      1. That is incredible. Over here we just have the ruby-throated (that is, only species), and they fly across the Gulf of Mexico nonstop! That can be 500 miles or more. Hummingbirds are amazing.

  1. Many thanks for sharing these delightful birds Cindy. We can when we wish to be a help, rather than a hindrance, to share and give them a chance to live. Those feeders may not seem like much but in tandem with many others make the difference in a big way πŸ˜€ ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹

    1. You are exactly right. One well maintained feeder, multiplied by caring people all over the western hemisphere are making a significant difference, feeder by feeder. დ დ

  2. They really are! Great captures Cindy πŸ’• Our little guys here in the northeast are pretty rambunctious right now. Lots of hummer activity around for all of us to enjoy!

  3. I get Rufous here about this time, every year, for a few weeks. I think most people in my area put out feeders, so Northern New Mexico must be a good pit stop on their travels.

    1. They go really far up north, so they need feeding stations for pit stops en route south. Thank you and your neighbors for supplying this. Rufous populations need our help დ დ

    1. They are friendly and trusting. I only hand fed them once for a brief period a few years ago. I don’t want them to think they can trust all humans. It could be fatal for them დ

  4. For two summers in the early 80’s, I worked at a guest ranch high in the Rocky Mountains. At the lodge, in front of a Polack-sized picture window, we hung a hummingbird feeder, a two-quart IV bottle with a custom made cap feeder, complete with wire rim for the serious drinkers.

    The entertainment came, after dinner, when I would stand beneath this pendulous feeder and slowly, ever so slowly, lift my hand up and behind an unsuspecting victim. When the bird was fully engrossed with slurping sugary syrup, I would strike and grab them.

    Index finger over the top, thumb and middle finger supporting them just beneath their wings I held them as they flapped frantically. Gripped like a flesh and feather dart I would present the trophy to the guests gathered behind the glass. They would marvel, snap photos, but in the end, plead with me to loose the poor creature to the air.

    As if aiming for some distant bullseye, I would fling my furious weapon forward. Off it would go, zooming into the azure sky, indignant but free of my clumsy grip.

    True story.

  5. They are the most beautiful and fragile of birds. Their long distance migrations are astonishing. We see few in the northeast but treasure the sightings. I find it amazing that you capture them in flight with their high frequency wing beats. That’s mighty good photography, Cindy!

  6. I just melt into the pictures of the hummers that you share and all that you share about them. I finally saw one larger than usual a day or 2 ago, though still of the tiny type. These are mostly a solid brown’ish color (from what I can see, they’re so small and so incredibly fast). It’s magical that you can get so close to them, a blessing indeed. Thank you for sharing these lovely pictures, the information, a piece of your life and a piece of you. πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’— Kimba

    1. Awww, such a wonderful comment. I worry a bit, thinking, “a fourth post on hummers, people will get bored…”
      Thank you so much for making me happy I went ahead and posted anyway. Hugs to you & cheers too დ

    1. Thank you Lavinia and yes they do love those flowers! If you plant flowers loved by butterflies and live in the hummer’s path, they will pay you a visit and probably even stay awhile. Lucky you! დ

  7. As tiny as they are, I wonder why they don’t do the “safety in numbers” thing and migrate together. I guess their motto is, instead, “though they be tiny, they be fierce.” πŸ˜€

    1. Sometimes they do join mixed flocks. But they are fiercely independent little critters, even when crossing vast distances, they mostly do it alone. You are right, “They be fierce!” დ

    1. Thank you very much. So appreciated! They are just wonderful creatures. As I type this, they are about three feet away, outside my window busily packing on the calories დ

    1. This is an interesting question. Please know, I am no sort if hummingbird expert. I just love them.
      That said, “Where does it go?”
      The rufous, goes as far as Alaska, before it returns to Mexico, but people have them on their feeders in all sorts of other states far from here. They find food where it is, on their migration.
      Rufous are flying miracles. They are usually the most aggressive birds on my feeders.

  8. I had no idea hummers took such long journeys – incredible, as are your awesome photos of them, Cindy. Thank you so much for the cheerful colors and beautiful creatures.

  9. I find hummingbirds forever fascinating. It is truly incredible that these tiny critters can fly such huge distances when they are migrating. Most surprising to see among your photos was the first where a hummingbird was drinking from the cup you were holding. Have a great weekend, Cindy!

  10. The picture feeding the hummer gives me some idea of their size. Eliza’s correct when she calls them winged jewels. Fantastic photos.

  11. I had the pleasure of feeding hummingbirds in a sanctuary in Jamaica near Montego Bay. If you visit you book ahead. I can’t remember the specific name but I think it is the woman’s name who founded it.

  12. Beautiful!… So the migration journeys of some hummers are longer than that of our storks over here in Germany! And the hummers are compared with storks such tiny creatures! Wow!

  13. I love these flying fairies! Your images capture their beauty do well. The only ones we get where I live are Ruby Throated. I’m doing my best to help them with three feeders and a garden of nectar flowers.

    1. I am so glad you are doing your part. It is quite heartening to know that so many people all across the hemisphere are helping hummingbirds, bird by bird, and feeder by feeder! დ

    1. I did it several times, several years ago, but stopped when I realized that habituating wild migrating vulnerable birds to trust humans maybe wasn’t the best idea. I don’t want them to trust the wrong person. Now like you, I just enjoy them without physical contact. დ

  14. Yes, how DID you take the picture while feeding a hummingbird, Cindy? They are truly resilient and amazing creatures. How spectacular that you get to keep some of them year-round.

    1. They are life enhancers beyond a doubt! I held the feeder with a fully extended left arm and took the photo with a cocked back right arm. I took lots of photos and got a crick in my neck! πŸ˜‰

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  16. I’ve only seen two Ruby Red Thouat’s at mine this year. It’s my first year to put the feeder out in years. It’s coming down to the end of migration so I keep hopeing to catch them at the feeder everytiem I walk by my kithen window. Love the photos.

  17. We have a 2nd story apartment with a balcony. Our hummingbird feeder has attracted only one or two hummingbirds. They certainly are welcome here and I wish more would pay us a visit. We live in Georgia which is popular state for hummingbirds. Your photos are beautiful.

    1. I would love to visit you and your hummers in Georgia! I have never been and would love to go. I have always wanted to see Savannah in particular and I cook and love Southern food! დ

  18. What courage it must take for these tiny birdies to fly alone! Thanks, Cindy, for showing them up close and personal — I saw one just the other day but failed to get his picture!

  19. I didn’t know they migrated! I suppose that’s because they never come here. In my entire life in Canada, I have seen maybe 6 hummers.

    Sweet post and wonderful shots, Cindy! Thank you!

  20. “Ahh…look, fairy godmother is feeding us again. Let’s tweet our friends to come quickly!” Amazing shots as always, my dear friend ΛΛβ‚β€’Ιžβ€’β‚ŽΛŽΛŽβ‚β€’Κšβ€’β‚ŽΛβ‚β€’Ιžβ€’β‚ŽΛŽΛŽβ‚β€’Κšβ€’β‚ŽΛΞΎ(ο½‘β—•Λ‡β—ŠΛ‡β—•ο½‘)ΞΎΛβ‚β€’Ιžβ€’β‚ŽΛŽΛŽβ‚β€’Κšβ€’β‚ŽΛΛβ‚β€’Ιžβ€’β‚ŽΛŽΛŽβ‚β€’Κšβ€’β‚ŽΛ

  21. petespringerauthor

    Either I read somewhere, or you told me before that you live in rural California. We’re up here in Eureka. I see lots of Anna’s and Rufous around here. My dad was a wildlife biologist who worked for the Fish and Wildlife. We ended up in this area of the country when he became involved with the recovery of the Aleutian Canada Goose (subspecies of the Canada Goose.)

      1. petespringerauthor

        We love it. I didn’t end up here until high school, but I’ve only moved away once for a year in the past 40+ years.

  22. You have to wonder how the Rufous Hummingbirds could possibly pack on enough weight for their long journey. Impressive! And the photo of hand feeding the hummers is a delight, Cindy. –Curt

        1. Well, I read Heather’s book and listened to her TED talk. She does consume excess calories and weight before she thru hikes. I’m not sure she did this on purpose, or just eats. She seems to not like life as much off, as on the trail.
          Good on her!

          1. The whole body weight issue is a challenge. That’s for sure, Cindy. It was fairly easy to deal with when I did my 10,000 mile bicycle trip around North America. It was eat whenever and whatever you wanted. Packing in calories was easy. When I did my 750 mile trip down the PCT two years ago to celebrate my 75th it was more of a challenge. I was using around 5,000 calories a day and consuming 1500, on a good day. Fortunately Peggy met me at the end of each week and I reversed the process for a couple of days. πŸ™‚ Still, I came off the trail weighing less than I had since high school. –Curt

              1. Just read yesterday that a woman just completed the Oregon section in 7 days Cindy averaging 57 miles per day. Absolutely incredible. I have friends who have done the 24 hour hundred mile races. Beyond my comprehension! πŸ™‚ –Curt

  23. Cool pix.
    The first on reminds me a jet refueling in flight ( the aviation idea must have come from this)
    But like the 3rd pix the best: the feather and feet details, the lovely neck color and the lines of bird and “J” chain so complimentary and lyrical

    1. Wow. How coincidental. I was just discussing this, how hummingbird flight has been studied by entities like the US Air Force. Pilots and planes are outclassed by hummingbird flight. Thank you for seeing their lyrical magic დ

  24. Wonderful photos. Today, I saw a couple of hummingbirds in the garden and managed to take a few pictures, but not as gorgeous as these photos though. 😊 But I have been waiting for them, and I was elated just watching them.

    Your backyard must be so special, you get a variety of hummingbirds. What a joy.

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  26. I love all the variations of reds and tans and browns on the little rufous hummer! Some of the others are more colorful, but the subtle variations on him are fascinating. Thanks for the closeups to really see these little guys.

  27. That photo of you feeding the bird (while photographing it) is awesome! That is talent in action.

    My parents had one hummingbird feeder, and the birds fought so much over it, they put up a second one. Now the hummingbirds fight over both of them. They’re beautiful, but they can be really aggressive at times, right?

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