When we moved to Mayne Island two months ago I didn’t realize that I’d being spending so much time worrying about refilling hummingbird feeders. After all, in Vancouver, our one feeder would last the one or two anna’s hummingbirds in the area at least a week. Here on the island I sometimes have to replenish all three feeders every day. This morning we had another feeding frenzy and after filling one of the feeders I even had to hold it for about two minutes while a female rufous sipped away. Of course, all this worry over supplies has paid off handsomely in both entertainment and photographic opportunities.
The pictures didn’t come easy, though. I was taking a lot of pictures of anna’s and female rufous hummingbirds, but my real quarry was a male rufous. At first, he didn’t come around. After a few weeks he came by infrequently, but he would always sit at the feeder but that didn’t make for a good photograph. I wanted him either in flight or sitting on something natural. So, I had a lazy, camera-shy bird.
That all changed last Sunday. Not only did he start coming by a lot more but there were now two of them. After seeing one of them sitting on a wire under our cherry tree, I decided to offer him some perching opportunities near the feeders. This proved to be just what he wanted. Now, in the mornings and evenings, my boy(s) sit on their perches and try to chase away all the other hummingbirds.
Unfortunately, all this will come to an end too soon. The rufous only stay in our area until mid-July when they’re off to the alpine meadows on the mainland from where they will slowly make their way south to Mexico for the winter. At least we still have two more months to enjoy them.