Hints from a Hummingbird

The other evening, I had the most interesting conversation with a hummingbird. She came right up to the porch and sipped from the butterfly bush, not two feet from my speechless self. Then, she buzzed over to the finch feeder and tapped the red top pointedly with her bill, and then she buzzed into a spunky little hover right between my eyes and cleared her throat. Loudly.

I fumbled an apology, sheepishly explaining that my two hummingbird feeders were kaput, and I hadn’t yet replaced them this year. She snapped, “I weigh as much as a penny – you think I have time to listen to excuses? You’ve got five minutes, lady!” and she darted away.

A few minutes later, as I was refilling the finch feeder, she buzzed my head again and said, “Do I really have to explain that I don’t eat seed? And, by the way, if you’re going to anthropomorphize me, make me sound like Audrey Hepburn.”

Or, at least, it went something like that. Anyway, I took the hint and went straight to my local Wild Birds Unlimited shop to get a new feeder, a nice sturdy flat one that’s easy to fill and clean. Within minutes, she was sipping happily and all was forgiven. By the next day, she was inviting friends to play Feeder Chase, and it’s been nearly nonstop ever since. In fact, she’s here right now, periodically darting over to check my grammar.


  1. A thoroughly captivating short story. Pulled me in the first sentence. Superbly written, IMHO. You should write more. Any comedic abilities?

  2. Humming birds are territorial and will not share feeders. If you put two out put them so they are not in sight of each other.

  3. I found that these little ruby throaters just love pink and red flowers. Coming to apartment balconies and parking areas doesn’t deter them from getting their nectar from my feeder. I watch them early every morning while having my coffee and later in the cool evening. They are so fast! One time, while my mother was watering her garden with the hose, one hummer stopped by and took a bath in the water spray. She said she just kept watering until the little guy left. I just love them!


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