Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's a House Party, Sort Of.

You would never guess it, but there is a party-loving beast occupying this tree. It is the smallest party-goer, but is the first to arrive and last to leave.


Did you find it? This may be just too easy. He's at the center of the photo if you did not find him.

I take it for granted that these frisky little birds are here year round battling to be king and queen of the heap. These Anna's hummingbirds are resident warriors always ready for the next adventure in nectar sampling.


"Excuse me while I scratch my arm pit..."


The humming birds fly a route around our house going door to door at their favorite taverns. I think they are a bunch of bar hopping floozies and drunken sailors buzzing around my house, shaking and quivering from an overdose on Salvia and Zauschneria nectar.


They are frequently found on the mulberry trees at the north of my house where where they quietly perch for a few moments in between getting their next fix. Actually, this perch is defensive location from which a humming bird can attack any other humming bird that dares to enter his mini-bar. I guess you could call him a mini-bouncer guarding the door.


He watches over his favorite beverages tenaciously, dive bombing those others who dare to enter his private drinking establishment.

These are the "Purple Hooters" that he is guarding...(That's a mixed drink folks. This is a family blog after all.)


From the tree, he stares at this bush located about 20 feet away. At this Mexican sage, two and three humming birds have been seen having bar fights over drinks of nectar. Some how I need to get a picture of them all here simultaneously.



I was able to approach this perch site without this big guy flying away. You can see the flecks of fuchsia on his throat and on the top of his head. I really need a picture of him showing off his bright feathers but was not lucky during the photo shoot. They can fluff up and display their bright colors when angry or displaying in defense of their territory.


To take these pictures, I stalked the humming birds for about three loops around the drinking circuit. So, I probably should have been doing laundry or some other menial task, but I was showing Wyatt what these birds were up to; therefore, I categorized this under "educational" work.

We walked around the loop and I showed my son each plant that the hummingbirds were visiting. Keeping with my "bar" theme, I think this is the nightclub where the birds get "Bloody Mary's." It's California fuchsia (Zauschneria californica). And NO I did not tell Wyatt that...I mean I am a good mommy after all.


And I think the Pink Flamingo's are slurped down here where the autumn sage (Salvia gregii) grows in profusion.


With a bunch of rowdy drunks buzzing around my house, I can't help but feel a little like the house mother yelling at the frat boys to keep it down. But they never listen anyway.


After all, they always have a look of defiance on their birdy mugs...

25 Comments for OSL:

Doris Sturm said...

This is Great, Julia! And you are right, education comes before clean underwear (ha!) I learned something today. Thank you! I never knew that about hummingbirds. I always just considered them dainty little nosey flutterbys at the feeders.

That was fun! I enjoyed my visit with you today.

Keep up the good work!

Pricilla said...

They are fun, aren't they. I don't get Annas but I do get Rufous - like flying flashes of neon tangerine. Noisy suckers too! And fighters! Whoodathunk out of such a tiny bird?

Doris Sturm said...

p.s. thanks for stopping by my blog, Julia, and YES I am expecting a photo of Ella with her pink confection of a hat ;-)

Also, you must have Eagle eyes to be able to idenfify those hawks up in the sky from my poor photos...wow, I'm impressed!

the ungourmet said...

How fun! I haven't had a purple hooter in ages. These days I think I'd prefer the flowers!

I went on a Wildlife Refuge field trip in Washington with my son's class the other day. I was thinking that you'd love it. I learned about the blackberries from Turkey that are taking over, I saw lots of rosehips, and I learned about a symbiotic relationship between a wasp and an oak tree. :D

The Mind of a Mom said...

Those are amazing pictures as I know they are hard to take pics of! Are they noisy or dirty birds? We do have them here in Ontario but you don't see them a lot in my area

Rural Rambler said...

Julia I miss our brawling hummers but this post and pictures made the missing part not so bad! I'll just head over here and take in your pictures.

Mel said...

Flowers and hummingbirds in November? You've got to be kidding! The few hummingbirds that hang around here (Montana) in the summer are long gone along with all the flowers. Glad I can live vicariously through you.

Off to get my skis ready for tomorrow...

Karen said...

You got some beautiful shots there! Whenever I see hummingbirds, they just fly away quickly. I am amazed at your pictures.

Sharkbytes said...

Wow, wow, wow! We only have the ruby-throats in the east, and although they are beautiful, I would love to get to know the western ones. And that Mexican sage is AMAZING!

Christine Gram said...

I miss California weather. Beautiful photos!

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

They do brawl! Everyone thinks they are so "sweet" until they see them in action! We kept putting up more feeders and MORE feeders to try to stop the sorties but finally just gave up and enjoyed the hullabaloo...

I love your "bar theme." You are so clever!

Fragrant Liar said...

I get all funkadelic, too, when I partake of the Salvia and Zauschneria nectar.

It happens.

Mountain Woman of Red Pine Mountain said...

Oh I am so totally jealous. Not only do you have hummingbirds but you have FLOWERS and COLORS too. Beautiful there. Gasp, sigh.

Ratty said...

I really love humming birds. Looks like your hummingbirds are as common there as my robins are here. I actually never knew that humming birds existed in the US until about a year ago. Now, I got to see my first one last summer, and even got a bad picture of it. I'd love to see as many as you get to.

blueviolet said...

We don't have that kind of course, but I miss my hummingbirds! They left about mid October. :(

Captain Dumbass said...

Great pictures. We have hummingbirds here, but they're super-stealthy. It's a treat when you actually get to see one.

Sara said...

Great pictures and adorable blog! Love the education and the drink suggestions... :D

Raven said...

LOL, great post! And great pics too.

I love hummingbirds but we rarely see any around my apartment building cuz there aren't any flowers or anything.

Have a wonderful week!

DayPhoto said...

We are brown. Very brown with frost heavy in the morning. No hummers here.

Sigh

They all flew to you!

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/

MObugs said...

Wonderful post....LOL Such a lovely little bird. Here is Missouri we have a huge diversity of bird life, but we are limited to one single variety of Hummingbird and that is the Ruby-throated. They are lovely, but I sometimes wish we had the selection those of you out west have. Your pictures are beautiful.

Frogs in my formula said...

Wow, you got some great photos. I'm glad you chose to take pictures instead of doing laundry!

Vixen said...

I can't believe how many great shots you managed to get of them. They love my Butterfly Bush here, in fact, one got drunk on it and crashed into my back a while ago. It sat there stunned for a moment, then took off. I could feel something. I asked my son (who happened to be behind me) WTH was that? After he wiped the stunned look off his face, he told me it was a hummingbird.

It was quite the odd, but exciting experience.

Mammatalk said...

I love this post.

Bar hopping floozies and drunken sailors? Too funny.

Five O'Clock Somewhere said...

Is Mexican Sage in any way related to the sage used as an herb?

Who doesn't just love Hummingbirds. They are so dainty and I always have to stop and watch when they buzz around.

Carol said...

These are wonderful photographs of your hummers! I am so delighted to see them as I too love these little creatures. I miss them so... we have the ruby-throated hummingbirds and they enjoy the garden pubs, which all closed down mid September. I love your humor and your plants! Lush and lovely all. Carol