Saturday, July 11, 2009


One of my many activities this time of year, is to keep three rather large hummingbird feeders filled. Where we live in north-central Texas, the common hummingbird is the Black-chinned. The throat of the male looks black until the sun stikes it, then it is a most beautiful purple. During migration, we occasionally see a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, identical to the Black-chinned except the throat patch is larger and very red, doesn't look black. Very rarely, another hummingbird will visit, a Rufous, who, as the name suggests, is rusty red all over.

This morning, before I had a chance to fill feeders, our rare visitor showed up, looking for breakfast. It chased away any other comers, as male hummingbirds will do but, since the feeders were all empty, not sure why. When I went out to fill the feeder, the Rufous flew away, not used to my presence as the regulars are. Didn't see him for several hours but he just returned! I took a few photos through the kitchen window. What is very interesting is the different sounds the hummingbirds' wing make. If one listens, there is a difference in the sound of the wings in all three of the hummingbirds that stop by. The Rufous is the most distinctive, sounds almost metallic!
Now I am wondering how long this guy will hang around. If he is smart, he will stay for the free meals! One day, I will use him as the subject of a painting.

1 comment:

  1. I never noticed that the different hummers' wings sounded different. Well, I'm not sure I can tell one hummer from another, not unless a neon Rufous were to appear, but now you have me wanting to listen. Thanks!