Saturday, December 24, 2016

Harvey's Hummer

Sometimes, hard work pays off. Harvey has spent a few years making his garden hospitable for butterflies and hummingbirds. He has Ruby-throated hummingbirds in his yard all summer. Sometimes a dozen or more are flying around until the end of September. Then, they all leave for the winter not to return until April. The yard seems empty after all of that activity. Until November 1st when a hummer flew around the yard. Harvey was elated to have a procrastinator for a few more days.

Hummers that show up on the east coast in November are generally not Ruby-throated. They are often western species that made a wrong turn and headed east rather than south. This is the case with Harvey's hummer. Problem is, nobody knows what species it is. Harvey has his ideas. He has invited experts to the house for their opinion. He has sent photos to expert hummingbird banders. Nobody can ID the bird. I finally had time to visit the yard on November 27th. Here is the hummer sitting in the butterfly bush.

It is now Christmas Eve and the little hummer is still in the yard. Harvey has a whole feeder thing erected on the porch. The feeders are hung on a ladder with a light bulb shining to keep the sugar water from freezing.

The hummer is having a ball. He/she sits on the ladder and has it's own food, shelter and adoring fans right there. We hope that he/she survives the winter so that we can see if the bird gets shiny feathers that may give us a clue to the identity.  He/she is in good hands.