I have an alarm on my phone that reminds me to check the hummingbird feeder every three days. When it’s cold like this, hummers are in danger from starving to death in a matter of hours. They rarely drink all the nectar (sugar water) in the feeder before I change it out, but it can spoil in the feeder if left too long.
While I was filling the empty feeder, I could hear a hummer buzzing near my head. This is not unusual. I am not afraid of them. I ignore them so they don’t think I am a hunter.
Today, I could hear that the hummer was very close as I filled the feeder. I wanted to look up, but finished what I was doing and placed the feeder on the palm of my hand and held it out.
A beautiful male was hovering 2 feet away from me. He was trying to decide what to do. He finally landed on my finger to take a sip. Just a faint brush of his feet, much softer and warmer than I expected. Then a female came buzzing in and chased him off. She just hovered at me from 2 feet away. She stared straight at me with quick side glances at the feeder. I felt like she was daring me to get in her way, that she was more protective of her feeder than she was hungry. The male came back, but was intimidated by the female and he didn’t land on me again.
I always imagine that hovering must be tiring, like I would be after treading water for a few minutes, so I hung the feeder up and let them decide who sits at the table.
I wonder if the male expected my finger to be different, hard and knobby like a twig instead of soft and warm.
I really like the description of this encounter with two hummingbirds, the lovely detail of the bird’s soft warm feet on your hand parallel to your speculation that the bird may have been similarly surprised by your hand’s softness and warmth.
I always wonder what other beings think about humans.
There’s a tiny humming bird feeder you can sit in the palm of your hand – looks like one of those little yellow flowers on the bigger feeds. I don’t have the patience but I’ve seen YouTubes of people who do. Lovely. And sounds like your experience is nice, too.
I got the idea from seeing videos of people in Texas with gallon-sized feeders for the hummers to fatten up for their migration across the Gulf. Pretty spectacular!