This post is a little different for me….so if you’d rather not hear me rambling like a buffoon about a hummingbird, I warn you to turn away–turn away quickly!!
Let the pointless gushing commence.
All right–there is a longish back story to this, so bear with me here.
A good portion of my day is spent (hard at work, I swear) at my computer. Command central is a little nook carved out of one end of my kitchen. My desk is pushed up against a large window, so as I work, I am looking out said window into a thicket of shrubbery (which is great, because if those green things weren’t there, I’d be staring into my neighbors’ bedroom window, which, I think we can all agree, is rather awkward).
My workspace, for better or for worse.
To my immediate right is a set of double french doors that lead out onto our deck and to my immediate left is the open kitchen-dining-great room–and all the way down at the front of that great room, on this same wall is another french door leading out onto our driveway.
I am in the habit of leaving the driveway door open quite a bit for the dogs to come in and out as they please (though this has become a problem recently, as the chickens have also discovered and entitled themselves to this privilege). Many times, I also leave the door next to me open, as well, to get a nice cross-breeze action, but if it’s a little too chilly, I keep that one closed. One morning last spring, I was doing just this: working at my computer, with the door to the deck closed, and the one to the driveway open. All of a sudden, I hear the tell-tale hummingbird air-strumming, and look up in time to see that a little hummingbird has zipped through the driveway door, streaked through the kitchen, and just as I realize what is about to happen–PLINK!–it runs into the closed deck door. But fortunately the little hummybird was unharmed and buzzing at the windowpanes of the french door like an angry bumblebee, trying desperately to get outside. So, carefully, I reached over and opened the door–problem solved, right? Nope. The little frantic thing just kept buzzing at the backside of the door and couldn’t figure out to fly around it. Finally, it perched on one of the dividers, and sat there, exhausted, it’s little chest heaving.
Of course, in my panic to help the bird, I didn’t stop to take a photo. But this was where the tiny one was stuck, perched on one of the window dividers.
Tentatively, I reached towards the bird, and when it didn’t fly away, I very carefully scooped it into the palm of my hand and stepped out onto the deck–pausing for a moment to marvel at the fact that I was actually holding a hummingbird in the palm of my hand. I opened my hand, and the bird sat for a moment, blinking at me. We had a little moment, the hummingbird and I. I was able to look her over very carefully–see her gorgeous colors winking in the sun. Wish I could have gotten photos! And then, in an instant, she was zipping away into the garden. I say ‘she’, because I certainly hit the research after this interaction. It seems to me that she is either a Rufous or an Allen’s Hummingbird, either a juvenile or a female, by her coloring. But I’m going with ‘she’, because that’s just what I’m going with.
Immediately (starting later that very same day), I began to notice that every time I was in the yard, there was a certain hummingbird (because we always have quite a few around here) that would come and hover close to my head–which is something that had never happened to me before in the garden. When I could get a good glimpse, yes, I was certain it was the very same little hummingbird (although in my research, this type of behavior is sometimes exhibited by territorial males when a person is in their ‘space’). But, nonetheless, this little bird was very fascinated with me, whatever the reason may be. I wish I could describe better the experience of being inspected by a hummingbird: there you are, minding your business, and suddenly it is like a pressure change in your ear that you kind of notice, but don’t notice, and then all at once, you’re hearing the hum of the wings, and feeling the movement of the air, and then you look up, and there is this beautiful little creature, right in front of your face. Amazing. Not once has this, or any of these birds territorially attacked me, and yet, here is this little one, coming in for a closer look.
Fast forward to the present. I work at my computer every morning, and then periodically throughout the day. Starting at six am, every single morning, I look up and I see this:
This photo makes it look farther away–in reality, the bird is about 3 feet from where I sit.
I know it’s probably not, but I swear this is the same bird. She flits in and sits on this exact branch every few minutes. She watches me as I move around, but does not startle. She preens and fluffs and stretches her wings and rests, and it is the cutest dang thing in the whole world.
Further research has revealed that this behavior (returning to the same covered, resting spot) is indicative of a female bird, as well. The males tend to rest on a branch or a power line out in the open (which I see around here all the time) while the females tend to pick a covered, protected resting spot. I’m hoping that if it is, indeed, a she, that she builds her nest here where I can see it. That would make my whole year.
I realize that I have romanticized this situation a wee bit–I’m sure that all of these incidences are not actually the same bird. I get it. But I like to secretly think it is.
I would love to hear from anyone who has a bit of hummingbird knowledge! Meanwhile, I’ll just be here, at my computer, smiling at my little recurring office visitor like a loon.