Dinner is served at 6 -- and 6:10, 6:20, 6:30, 6:40 and so on, if you're one of the hummingbirds that dines at the porch feeder.
It hangs from the eaves, a cup of sweetened water, lovingly prepared, in its reservoir. A supplement to the bright, flowering plants below—trumpet creeper, columbine and lilies.
We sit, with our plates, watching from a few feet away, our conversation interrupted every few minutes by the loud buzz of her approach. From the very slender branch of a nearby tree, she zooms in, hovers and takes a few hurried sips. Just over a tenth of an ounce—an emerald jewel.
Then—off, as suddenly as she appeared.
Back to the nest to sit.
Her mate visits less often.
Perhaps he wanders farther within his territory or needs less nourishment now, than she.
Then, in a flash, he is there, even smaller than the female—tiny toes curled around the red perch while he drinks. His brilliant red gorget, black in the fading light of evening.
His role within this new family is finished. Nest-building and feeding responsibilities are hers now and hers alone.
The two bicker often. Their harsh chatter follows as they chase and dive—speeding past our heads within the porch.
Racing off into the blue until they are seen no more.
Progress of this family will be regularly posted to
"A Bird's Life."
Thanks to Wigger's World for hosting Skywatch Friday each week at his site!