Tag Archives: birds

crazy for hummingbirds

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“You have a hummingbird feeder!” said S. as she looked out our kitchen window to the backyard.

“We do?” I thought. (Yes, I am that clueless). This was in January. The first week in February, my mom and I were sitting at the kitchen table, and a hummingbird hovered above a bush and peeked in at us, spying on our conversation. It suspended in air, as hummingbirds do, flap flap flapping. “Look!” we said. “Wow!”

So, last Tuesday, I decided to make use of the red feeder. I boiled one part sugar with four parts water, let it cool and about an hour later went to fill up the feeder. I didn’t know I had to put the lid on to pressurize the water and the concoction disappeared down the kitchen sink. So I patiently made another batch, filled up the feeder and hung it back on the tree.

The next day, there were no hummingbirds. Nada. The water must have frozen overnight, I thought. Another day passed, no hummingbirds. I looked up the migration patterns. Some species should be in the Mojave desert, I thought.

And then, Friday evening, I saw a hummingbird at the feeder. I practically knocked everything in my way in my excitement to get my camera. I flung the patio door open, ran outside, and, completely forgetting that hummingbirds are timid, ran to the tree like a goon and scared the little guy away.

I’ve never been that interested in birds, but I vividly remember a third grade book report I did on hummingbirds and how amazed I was that they fly backwards. They are beautiful creatures. And now I’ve turned into that crazy bird lady, looking for my two “friends” — the green and magenta hummingbirds who visit regularly.

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the birds of east africa

One thing I didn’t expect to see in Tanzania was so many beautiful — and big — birds. Maybe that’s because I was so excited to see giraffes and zebras and cheetahs in the wild, birds didn’t cross my mind. But in the Serengeti, I felt a bit like a bird gazer — I kept noticing them fluttering by — especially a bright green one with a yellow belly (A. and I didn’t get a photo of it). When we saw it, we pointed and said, “Ohhhh! Look at that! Did you see that?” I know very little about birds, including the birds below (and I’m having trouble finding some of their names). One of the Australians we met was carefully going through a bird book and marking it up: I should have snuck up behind him and stolen that book and run as fast I could.

starlings

red-and-yellow barbet

African village weaver

secretary bird

crested cranes

kori bustard

African ground hornbill

helmeted guineafowl

blacksmith plover

marabou

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