24 November 2015

Return of the Boss: Hummingbirds are Rad

The hummingbird feeder on my porch balcony outside area space continues to return superb value for money. I have learned things about hummingbirds. So many things! To wit:
- There are wonderfully many different types of hummingbirds (!!)
- We have similar dietary preferences (sugar)
- We don't like to share our stuff
- They are mean as hell (we do not have this in common)

I mention this because one of the smaller birds has claimed the entire feeder for his own. It may be the same bird that claimed it before (Barry the Boss Bird), or it may be the same species of bird but a different individual. I have no way to know. The Allen and Rufous hummingbirds are impossible to tell apart anyway. I am calling this new one Barry also, just in case he is the same as the old Barry. He definitely behaves like the last Barry.

Watching Barry defend an essentially unlimited source of food is very entertaining, not least because he weighs 2-5 grams, and his food source (not including the feeder itself) weighs, umm, 1105 grams, or 200x more than he does. It would be like a person defending a mountain of food that weighed 40,000 pounds. I'm pretty sure he is losing more food to evaporation than he actually eats. (For reference a gram is about the weight of a dime.)

Various other birds of either the same or different species will test him but he is resolute in his obstinacy. Occasionally they will overwhelm him with numbers - I have seen up to 9 birds on the feeder at one time. When that happens he just parks himself on the feeder and gives everyone hard looks until they leave. Woe to the bird that shows up by himself because he is getting shunned immediately.

Need to borrow a camera to get a proper photo of all the madness on the porchalcony. In the mean time photo credit to Joe Burgess.  

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