The Hummingbird Bath
Hummingbirds run at maximum speed at all times. Even when they perch, which they often do, they never really stop moving, always guarding their precious food sources from other hummingbirds. They bob their heads back and forth and when they see an interloper they charge them with no holds barred. Their wars are fiercely fought, though they never actually come to blows, so no blood is shed. Still, their war titters -- the constant zipping sound they make -- and their amazing aerobatics are pure theater. They’re obviously method actors reaching deep into their pasts – or more accurately, their instincts -- to do what they need to do to ensure the preservation of their species. It seems to work. Both the Rufous and Anna's hummingbirds thrive here in the Willamette Valley and though the Rufous migrates south for the winter, the hardy, indomitable Anna's sticks it out through frigid rains, the occasional ice storm, and random snowfalls.
Last year we invested in a small fountain as a garden ornament that provided the soothing sound of water tinkling over its sides. The extra added benefit we had not expected was how much the birds would appreciate having their own spa. They visit the fountain often to drink and bathe. Our very first spa client was one of the many Anna’s Hummingbirds that frequented our flower garden and the feeders we had placed around the backyard.
They are as stealthy and hyper about their baths as they are about everything else they do. Capturing one with my camera was a real treat . . .
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