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  • Betty Girardeau

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I almost forgot to put out my hummingbird feeder this year and was a bit worried when I did that these amazing little birds would not find it. But it took them less than twenty-four hours. I wonder how they do that? My feeder has room for several of these little guys to feed at one time, but I have seldom seen more than one at a time. They seem to be rather territorial. In fact, I have actually seen them attack another hummer to prevent it from moving in and sharing the nectar. As you can imagine, getting good pictures of them can be a bit of a challenge because they are really tiny and they move so fast. Several summers ago I set up my camera with a telescopic lens on a tripod at my front window. I had prefocused the camera on the feeder so that just about all I had to do was make sure it was turned on. I had noticed that they tended to come to feed at specific times of the day, too, so I was ready for them when they appeared. They are very entertaining to watch, but because of their size and speed you can easily miss them. Apparently we probably do miss them most of the time because they tend to spend most of their time just perched on a tree branch, as the energy it takes for them to fly more than they do would be prohibitive. Did you know that they recognize people and can become tame enough to be induced to sit on your finger while they feed? I would love that. I have had one fly around my head to let me know that the feeder needed refilling, though. Since I have been writing this I have seen my hummingbird fly to the feeder several times. I think I will go set up my camera again and see what portraits I can get this summer.

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