Yep, we just did it again. It seems as as normal as staying home.There is so much to miss leaving The Holler.
The year round Holler hummers are brave in an non-conformist way, they choose not to migrate thousands of miles across the Gulf of Mexico, but to stay year round with us at The Holler, despite winter temps that frequently fall well below freezing and could easily kill them.
Other migrating travelers visit us seasonally.
There are four hummers that lived at The Holler year-round this year. These are two of them. They rely on our feeders and bugs to keep them alive year round.
Now we have flown off before the full complement of spring unfolds, missing all The Holler spring has to offer. Don’t worry, family remain at The Holler while we are away, to take care of all our critters including the birds.
I look forward to blogging as I travel and hope you will come along with me.
You make traveling a lot more fun and interesting!
3 Flights, 22 hours traveling time, and here we are,
ready to head further east.
Cheers to you from ancient Athens~
(Please do be patient iwth me if I am slower in responding, or unable to follow your blogs as closely as I would like, due to the realities of travel.)
and will feed readily from hand.
My husband and son volunteer occasionally for photos,
as you can see in this photo, but mostly I do it myself, which is really quite comically difficult.
I hold the camera with my right hand and the feeder with my left!
But the experience of concentrating, vibrating, hummingbirds feeding from your fingers, so close to your face and eyes, is so simply phenomonal, that’s it’s worth is above words.
It is amazing what we will do, and receive back, for unselfish love.
The year round hummers have names. Meet Star.
Star got the name because she is my star poser and lets me get quite close. She often sleeps with me a couple of feet away which is incredibly cute! She looks about ready to nod off now.
Yep, here she goes, snoozing the day away. I can identify with a hummer who likes her naps!
This is Flash. He strobes his intense colors at will and frequently. He tends to be a bit more hyper and dominant than laid back Star.
He would never sleep in my presence, but he loves to zoom at great velocity over the top of my head, making my hair flutter!
At the feeder he perches at the back and hides, peeking at me occasionally out of curiosity.
Piloto is Spanish for pilot.
He drinks from the feeder only while in flight, never perching.
Piloto is named for his flying ability.
He is always in super fast motion and is an expert in flying backwards.
He loves to fly about a hundred feet in the air and dive bomb down at up to 6o mph!
Darth is named for his black helmet and his cranky behavior. He will frequently dislodge Star from her perch while napping, just because he can! He is quite entertaining to watch and harmless, albeit the other hummers do find him annoying.
The spring migration will be starting any day now. Up to 40 additional hummingbirds will descend on The Holler. I will hang additional feeders to accommodate the numbers and we have nest boxes going up in the center courtyard. By mid-April The Holler will be humming!
Cheers to you from the The Holler Hummer locals~
I evaluate hummingbird photos by how clearly I can get the feet in focus. If the face is in focus, but the feet are blurry, then the photo doesn’t make the cut.
Besides I can’t believe their birdie feet. They are miniaturized, engineering marvels.
These tiny birds who weigh less than a nickel, have impressively functional feet.
Check out this guy with his landing gear engaged and ready to lock on!
Right now the hummers appear to be miffed.
I moved their feeder so it would be more in the sun for photos, and they are balking about using it.
It’s a hummingbird standoff.
If they refuse to use the feeder for another hour, I’ll move it back.
Cheers to you from The Holler Hummers, who, of course, are always in charge!
I am just their feeder filler~
. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
The hummingbirds are now landing on my hand when I change the feeder. I have ordered a hand-held feeder, but have yet to determine how I will feed them and take pics at the same time! They tend to look at me quite directly as you can see in this and the next post’s photos!
Hummingbirds are one of the most aggressive bird species. They will attack jays, ravens and even some hawks. They climb to great heights and dive bomb each other at up to 60 mph!
The hummingbird above right is flying backwards away from another bird. Hummers are the only birds that can fly backwards. They can also fly upside down!
I have purchased a second hanging feeder to lessen the competition between the birds. I have heard and seen the impacts, but so far no bird has been injured, and they even co-operate at the feeder as you can see in some of these photos.
Hummer’s hearts beat at up to 1200 beats per minute!
But, they can’t walk or hop on their feet….
Their beaks are like rapiers and they are not shy about using them!
Hummingbirds often consume up to 2X’s their body weights in nectar daily! Cheers to you from Hummer Holler!
This bird is looking up anticipating an attack from above.
This one is also anticipating a volley from above. It always happens!
Can’t resist the hummingbirds. I have other stuff to post but I keep getting distracted by the hummingbird antics. Plus you seem to like them too, so, what the heck, I posted some more. They are incredibly fun to hang out with. They dive bomb each other, and their aerial feats of daring do, and in air squabbles, are great fun to watch. They incorporate me into their games by using me as a human shield to escape their foes. It is quite entertaining. Plus they never seem to actually injure each other.
This one got on the feeder wire to pounce on whatever foe dares to come feed. Pretty hilarious. They fly at super fast velocity when engaging in these games and constantly buzz inches from my head at intense speeds. Sometimes I involuntarily duck, but they never hit me. They are not just sweet, pretty, ornamental birds. They are intense aerial fighters.
This guy in the above photo is the one I misnamed as blue throated. You can see he has a purple throat. He is the non-local that is experiencing harassment, but he is getting far more assertive. Don’t you think he looks a little cross? I confess to interfering to the point of standing next to him at the feeder so he can eat in peace. What can I say? I dislike bullies and always go for the underdog. He’s gotten a lot of nectar. He needs to keep up his strength! Plus now he likes me and let me take a lot of photos. I know, I know, I am a really bad human, bribing the hummingbirds for photo-ops, but there it is, naked greed at its worst. Plus check out the pics! LOL.
After they have a battle, they retreat to the nearby trees to recover and plan their next assault. The purple throated one always squeaks at this time. You can see him hiding below.
Cheers From The Holler Hummingbirds!
I thought you might be in the mood for hummingbirds so I snapped a few today!
My husband likes the shots of them still, but I prefer snagging them in flight. There’s a new one around with a beautiful blue throat, but he keeps getting dive bombed by the locals so I haven’t got a good snap of him yet. I swear he hovers around me for protection. When they dive bomb him, they are moving at incredible speed, when they make impact you could hear an audible woof sound and he makes a squeak. I feel sorry for the blue throated guy.
The female has no colors to flash, but I still think she is pretty.
The Snapdragons are blooming and we get more each year. They self sow.
I included one tiger swallowtail shot because it shows the swallowtail and the gem colored patches on the wings. Aren’t they beautiful!
Cheers to you from The Holler!