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Posted by: atowhee | December 3, 2017

HUMANS AND HUMMERS: ALIKE AND NOT

Sunday, Dec. 3

If we manage to survive as long as hummingbirds have will we become more like them?  Let’s hope not. Humans and hummers already share a proclivity for warfare and greed.  If we world beaters are to last I suspect it will require us humans to be more altruistic and willing to sacrifice immediate satisfaction for a chance at long-term survival.

One of our more care full and careful neighbors maintains two nectar feeders for the local hummers.  One even has a heater so it is good all winter long, whatever the weather.  Of course there is a resident hummer who “owns” both feeders.  This male Anna’s can sit sentinel in either of two trees and see both feeders at once. His alert watchfulness is particularly consistent in cold weather like today.  Yet another (or is it others?) hummer makes regular raiding sorties one or the other of the feeders.  The action and attacks are so quick I never can tell if the second bird even gets a sip.  It’s like a little bit of Afghanistan right here in our quiet neighborhood—endless warfare.anhu guardanhu guard2anhu guard3

It was cold this morning at sunrise.  The temp was below 35 degrees.  It never warmed much despite some wan winter sunshine in the early afternoon.

Better we should become more finchy. Sharing is something finches take to. Maybe not altruism exactly, but lack of overt antagonism. Ignoring the chill the siskins insisted on their communal bathing.  In siskinland ablutions are absolute.bath1bath2bath3

Nice woodpecker action at Wennerberg around noon: Wennerberg Park, Carlton, OR, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Dec 3, 2017 11:20 AM.  7 species

Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber)  2
Downy Woodpecker (Pacific) (Picoides pubescens gairdnerii/turati)  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) (Colaptes auratus [cafer Group])  2
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  2
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) (Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group])  8
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)  12

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Responses

  1. […] This morning at the neighbor’s hummer station, there was one bird on each nectar feeder…perhaps the 38 degree chill made them so hungry they couldn’t afford the usual flutter and chase.  Here is one feeder, a sequence of images we could call “Hummer drinks, hummer thinks.”If you missed  it, click here for yesterday’s blog about human and hummer wars. […]


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