A few days ago I thought I got a quick glance of a different hummingbird as it zipped by leaving only the echo of its wings. It appeared larger than the two males that have been hanging around since March or April. Did we have another summer guest? I certainly hoped so.
Later that evening I noticed the smallest male hummer flying in an unusual pattern. As I observed him a few seconds, I knew he was performing the courtship flight- he flew upward several feet then dived down, quickly pulling upward at the last moment until he completed a U-shaped flight pattern. I nodded my head and smiled. I knew what this type of behavior meant. Our little male hummer was trying to attract a female! I couldn't see her at that very moment, but I knew she was probably perched on a small twig below him, watching him perform in hopes of impressing her. The sun reflected the metallic appearance of his red and green plumage as he flew upward then suddenly plunged downward- I was impressed, whether she was or not! :)
I had my first glimpse of the little lady the next morning as she darted between the blue and red salvia, as if performing a taste test. "Ahhhh yes, I knew you were near- welcome, my feathered friend!".
I watched her too, as she drank from the prettiest, most colorful feeder then sat upon the tiny perch with her eyes turned toward the tops of the tree above her. She heard other birds calling out and she heard the leaves rustling lightly in the wind. She gazed up in curiosity, turning her head slightly in either direction, much like myself whilst I watch birds play and leaves dance.
This little beauty is more sociable than the males have been- she dashes and zips around, in and between all the flowers in my front yard. She lingers at the feeders a little longer then sometimes perches in the nearby tree.
Hopefully, her presence is a positive sign. Within a few weeks, the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds will be appearing in larger numbers in the south again, migrating from the north toward the gulf coast. They'll stay around a little while, at least several weeks, and consume higher amounts of plant nectar and sugar water to put on the extra weight needed for their long, long flight across the Gulf of Mexico. During the final couple of weeks before their trek across the gulf, they'll go on a feeding frenzy- that's when I should have the opportunity to see and photograph several of them while they battle over the feeders. I'm looking forward to it! :)))