RaeDi at Hummingbird Hollow

Thoughts on Food, Words from the Heart, 'The Little Winged Ones'….

Tag: Rufus Hummingbird


Male Rufus taking care of business!

Ninnie being Ninnie – catnap in the sun!

First I thought I would start off with a picture of Ninnie, she has not been corporative at all with me taking her picture of late!   Normally she just ignores me while I point and shoot.  I found her lying on her back in a sunny spot this morning.  She had no idea I had taken her picture, if she did she did not let on… it is something how an animal can pretend to be sleeping when you are talking… their ears gives them away, they move with the voices!  So afraid they might miss something, you just might be talking about them!    She looks so angelic… don’t you think!

Male Rufus

Now I will get back to the subject… hummingbirds.  We have been eagerly awaiting our seasonal hummingbirds.  Normally the Rufus Hummingbirds would have arrived by now.  The Calliopes’’ are always a month or so behind.  I am wondering if they are in the desert!  Will have to call my nephew Mickey who lives in Phoenix and see if they had a higher than normal bloom in the desert this year.  That would explain the non-appearance of the hummingbirds here.  (The Anna’s who winter over do not mind, they are always so up in the air so to speak when the others start arriving!  It does not take long for them to get along and share… most of the time!)

Male Rufus

I have a little story I want to share with you… A few years ago I was in Tucson, Arizona.  It was March and the total opposite weather that we were experiencing here in the Northwest!  Not that unusual to say the least.  Lots of sun it got up into the 80’s and a couple of days in the 90’s.  I had no need for a sweatshirt or sweater.  I had packed for the sun.  I took sundresses, short sleeves, crops and Bermuda shorts along with some sneakers and stylish sandals of course!   For a change my house coat was what took the most space in my suitcase! 

Male Rufus

At lunch time one day I decided to take a long walk along the main business street in downtown Tucson… lots of State and Federal Buildings along the way.  Besides getting in a little exercise and sun… I could people watch something I love to do.  What better time than at lunch time walking among hundreds of folks coming and going on their lunch time.  I experienced something on that walk… it is a point in time I will never forget.

Male Rufus

I think everyone knows that city blocks are pretty long… I had just pasted through one intersection to start the next city block and a male Rufus Hummingbird came right up to my face and was staring at me.  Then he started his excited zee-chupity-chuping, chipping and buzzy notes as he hovered a foot in front of my face.  Whether I stood still or kept moving he stayed with me, flying backwards at the same speed as myself, if I stopped he hovered until I made an advancement… his musical buzzing and just being present had everyone’s attention.  These folks that were so busy in their everyday lives running errands, getting things done on their short lunch hour took the time to come along and watch this colorful little winged one. 

Female Rufus (bad hair day!)

They were as amazed as me at the actions of this hummingbird.  Some that were going in the opposite direction decided to join in and see what this little winged one was up to!   This went on for the full length of this city block.  So much commotion… it is something that something so small and of little consequence to each of their daily routines could make so many people stop their day and take part to just see what he was up to.  He was flashing his colors for all to see.  He had so much to tell me and sometimes I thought he was actually scolding me!  It sounded like it anyway!

Two Female Rufus at feeder

People were asking me if this had happened before, not in the city… my little hummers at home did this all the time.  Someone in the crowd spoke up and said, “It is like he knows her!”  I was thinking the same thing.  Was this one of our seasonal hummers on his track to Hummingbird Hollow and just staying over for a rest and to take in the desert bloom before continuing on? 

I decided to take another walk the next day and ran into a couple of women that called me the Hummingbird lady… they wanted to talk about what they had observed.  We sat down on a park bench and I told them about Hummingbird Hollow and all the little winged ones that call our home theirs for several months out of the year.  I also said the one thing that I did not say aloud the day before, I thought the little winged one was one of ours and wanted to know why I was not at home and was afraid he would not have a feeder of nectar waiting for him when he arrived!  That will never happen….

I think he is telling me to stop watching!

Little Winged Ones… Hummingbirds In Flight

Female Anna

(Be sure to double-click on the photo(s) and you will see an enlargement and all the details…)

I was sitting out on the back deck this morning.  The sun was so bright and with a hot cup a tea in hand I was feeling pretty good.  The past couple of weeks it finally seems like summer.  More sun than clouds and rain.

As I sat there I was watching the little winged one play.  I wonder what it would be like to have such energy, but I guess if my main diet was nectar I would be overly active too.

Female Anna and a Female Rufus in background

They stole my heart years ago, but living here at what we call Hummingbird Hollow has brought more than just entertainment from the little winged one.  With it came a want to know more about them.  I have spent the last dozen plus years watching, studying and being delighted in all there antics.  I am in the process of doing the illustrations for a book I wrote called Midnight Nectar about the frolics, behaviors and lives of the little winged ones.  I can honestly say there is never a dull moment here.

Female Anna

As I sat there I was spellbound by their aerial feats… I watched a Stellar Blue Jay come through, immediately the hummers gave chase.   They stayed with this blue bird through the apple trees on to the plum trees and then into the thicket and back again.   I am in awe as I watch them take on the bird that is over eleven inches long compared to their two-plus inch length.  Their tenacity is not to be compared to anything that is their size.  I have watched them take on cats, dogs, any bird and us two footers if we get to close to their nests or if their young are just out of the nest.  They are very territorial and if you get within their terrain at any given time they just may let you know you need to leave.

However, if they know you they will come right up and check you out, some of ours look in our windows and watch us.   We have noticed that if their feeder is low on nectar juice they will come and look at us through our windows until we check the feeder.  They will at times watch us through the windows while we are getting a clean feeder, filling it and then meet us where we hang the feeder.  At times they will follow us around the yard.   They love to chat with us, they are very vocal in all ways.  Generally they are easy to live with and are very amicable.

Male Anna

The Stellar Blue Jay is a very noisy bird; they have a lot to say and with such sass.  They have a cheekiness… brazenness that is beyond compare to all winged ones no matter the size.  With their young they are so vociferous, boisterous, bossy and overbearing.  I feel sorry for them.  I think they leave the nest as soon as possible.  It does not take them anytime to be completely on their own and off to a whole new area to live.  That is what I would do!

Male Anna

The Stellar Blue Jay  are a beautiful bird, just a little overbearing at times.  I tried to get a picture of one of them and they knew it and they made it very hard for me to get a good shot in.  They are one of the reasons we do not do many bird feeders, they go through and knock all the seeds out so they can eat all of the sunflower seeds.  They are pretty but have an arrogance that dulls their beauty.

Stellar Blue Jay

The sun was shining through the trees and every time I just got focused, the bird would take flight.

It did not want a picture taken!

This Female Rufus has decided to check me out – eye to eye!

I take hundreds of hummingbird shots.  They are so fleeting it is not an easy task.  I am learning, but to get the lighting right and have the camera set for high-super-sonic speed is a mission and a calling that I will not give up on.  I have so many action shots; hummingbirds are almost always so full of life… highly active.  I have given myself the challenge of taking action shots that are clear and precise and tell the viewer what is going on.  That is not easy… I am going to share some of my ‘action shots’ that I have taken this summer.  I hope you enjoy them and let me know what you think.  I already know I have a long way to go, but I think I have gotten a good start….

Male Anna

Male Rufus – they make it almost impossible to get a picture of them!

Female Rufus

Male Anna

Female Rufus

Female Rufus

Male Anna

Female Rufus

Look… there are two Female Rufus Hummingbirds on the uptake!

Female Rufus

Young Rufus

Rufus Hummingbirds

Rufus Young ~ Hover, Reverse and Backwards Uplift! Amazing Little Winged Ones!

Two young Rufus Hummingbirds

Female Rufus

A Sneak Peek at Spring


Male Rufus Hummingbird

Yesterday, I stepped out onto the deck to call for Ninnie and to my surprise I had a guest; the first Rufus Hummingbird of the season has arrived.  The Anna’s that winter over were none too happy about the new caller.   I have to admit the Rufus are my favorite of the hummingbirds that visit us here at Hummingbird Hollow.  They are so bright; the rufus coloring against the white with the red to orange, gold and copper colors that they flash all are so striking and vivid.  (This picture of the Male Rufus Hummingbird is from last season, the one that showed up yesterday was camera shy!)

Male Anna Hummingbird

They too have lots of character.  They are bossy little things.  Maybe that is why when they are around the other hummingbirds are always so stirred up.  But, even the littlest of all the Calliope’s do not let them chase them off.  They all impress me so with the resilience they have and their stamina for being pocketsize they are so full of pure grit.  They all hold their grounds in such a persuasive way and they have such a large ‘vocabulious’ (my word if you could hear what I hear at times!) way.  They are as aggressive with their vocabulary as they are intractable and obstinate with one another.   Nothing they can do will drive away any of the little winged ones from the other, they all stay their ground.  Nothing monotonous about the way we live our lives here at Hummingbird Hollow.  Makes for very interesting bird watching I never tire of observing all their behaviors.

It is time to get out a couple more feeders.  Our nectar use will be going up daily now.  Once one arrives, the rest are not far behind.  I need to make sure my extra battery pack is ready.  It always lefts my state of mind along with it aiding my inner health when I see the sun and peaks of nature coming into color.

I too noticed the mini daffodils that I planted under the Japanese Magnolia are in bloom.  I will have to take some pictures.  Spring has sprung and I have an added skip to my step.  Seeing the sun shine through the gray skies sure helps, but seeing the first hummer arriving the same day as the little mini daffs are in bloom sure does left my spirits.  I sure hope we have a better summer this year.  We only had a few days of summer last, and between the summer of 2009 till now it has been a long haul.

Days such as today are reasons why I hesitate to move permanently to the south.  I love four seasons.  I know I need a dryer four seasons; I am still looking and will continue to find that right place of mind.  It is all a real adventure and when it is right I will know.  I want to know when one season ends and the new one is upon me.  I love snow, and the first blossoms of spring, and when fall puts on a show of colors and a summer that is full of sunshine.  Each and all have so much to offer.  I cannot see myself living where you do not see the display of each season.

The last of my Hellebore ~ Christmas Cactus Bloom

One of these days I need to take a walk through the woods.  We had some really high winds the last couple of days, enough so that I have lost my power off and on, I will need to take a walk along the beach to see what was stirred up and churned out for me to lay claim to.   You never know what you will find beach combing.  It is one of my much loved past times.  There should be lots of sea glass and old pottery bits to add to my collections.

Isn’t spring amazing? ….

 Mini Daffodils in bloom under the Japanese Magnolia, spring is on the way!

Even the Vinca Vine is starting to show face.  The blossom hasn’t yet open all the way, it too, is taking a sneak peek of what spring may bring us in a few short weeks!  I can hope!

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