What a joy it is to wake up on a Sunday morning, look out the window, and find Anna’s hummingbirds flitting in for a dose of sweet sugar.
The sun beating down on Drayton’s Passage is icing on a beautifully layered treat. A gift divine for its simplicity.
While my lovely bride curls up comfortably under the covers, squeezing a few more precious minutes of sleep, our woods is awake with the crows and eagles squaring off. Their calls to battle echoing eerily far above the Douglas firs.
Bobbing heads of robins silhouetted against a bright sun bounce between blades of grass along our high bank.
A morning so serene it got me thinking about how exactly our little birds feast on our feeder.
I have long thought hummingbirds sucked nectar through their long thin beaks. Well, I looked it up and realized I have been wrong all these years.
According to the website phys.org, “The hummingbird has a forked tongue which is lined with hair-like extensions called lamellae. When inside the flower, the tongue separates and the lamellae extend outward. As the bird pulls its tongue in, the tips come together and the lamellae roll inward. This action traps the nectar within the tongue.
“This is a process that is automatic and requires no energy on the part of the bird.”
I’m glad to hear that. With all the flying around they do, they surely need to consume copious amounts of sweet water to survive.
Believe me, my lovely bride reminds me how quickly her feeder is being drained.
Apparently they flit about feeding so much that they hardly land on the ground often enough to be able walkers, says Wild Birds Unlimited.
“Hummingbirds are able to perch and will do so at feeders regularly. Because they fly so much, they have poorly developed feet. They can barely walk at all. The hummingbird is much more comfortable in flight.”
Now we know.
Good morning Longbranch.