It was too icy and slippery for me to venture outside in the yard, but I didn't miss it. I loved watching the bird feeder action from my perch on the stair landing or at the kitchen table. The temperature had dropped below freezing, the snow piled up and I wondered why hummingbirds with any sense remained in town when they could be basking in the SW sunshine and warmth. Then the sun came out and our two resident Rufous hummingbirds appeared pretty content, fluffed up for insulation against the cold wind, but as content as two irascible hummers ever look.
Hummingbirds can be extremely territorial when it comes to protecting a food source and these two were no exception. I wish I had a video of their dive bombing runs and dizzying aerials as each bird sought to drive off the competition and claim the feeder for itself. There were brief moments when both birds paused, sipped from opposite sides of the feeder, and then resumed the battle. The dominant bird finally rested on a branch or rope, maintaining a vigilant guard against interlopers.
This morning's snowfall was a treat, especially since we didn't have to drive anywhere today. While I gazed out the kitchen window, marveling at the beauty and leisurely enjoying a cup of tea, a flurry of motion caught my eye. One of the resident hummingbirds did repeated fly-bys, checking out the empty branch where he expected a winter feeder. Oops! how could I forget my bird feeder duties?!
RL did the footwork on the snowy deck, and will have to do early morning duty for the rest of the week. The feeder will freeze overnight, and a backup container is ready to be swapped in. The problem? the birds wake up hours before we do, and they get a little noisy and aggressive when you keep them waiting. I know that feisty feeling, if my breakfast and that first cup of tea are delayed.
I have been home for two weeks with my brand new knee, spending most of my time exercising, applying ice, walking laps around the house, napping a lot and sitting in a chair for no more than 30 minutes at a time. Limited to one or two trips downstairs per day, I spend a lot of time gazing out the second story windows. This local eagle looks like a kindred spirit, favoring his right leg but ready to launch.
I may not be ready to fly for a while (or run or jump or dance), but I can hardly wait until I can drive!