Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hummingbirds keeping warm in cold front ...

Sunday brought an unexpected late spring cold front into Central Texas. With it came high winds and even a little (emphasis - little) rain.

As you might expect, this sent the hummingbirds into overdrive - furiously flying about - trying to keep their tiny bodies warm.

We have two feeders around the corner from one another outside our breakfast room and enjoy watching them much of the year.

Yesterday's show was the best I've seen to date. At one point, I was watching 5 of them buzzing about the feeders and filling up on liquid energy. There were 3 at the feeder at the right corner window and two at the feeder at the left corner window. Almost made my eyes cross to watch them zoom back and forth.

But I was most intrigued that several of them were also taking breaks in the trees and on my Mountain Yucca. One male Ruby-throated hummingbird lit on the yucca several times -- sitting very still and puffing up his tiny feathers to keep out the cold. Unfazed my my photography -- focused on finding warmth. This feeder is protected on 3 sides - by the house and a wooden fence - and provided a nice wind break for him.

His very metallic green back provided a great contrast against the blue yucca and the blue pot in the first photo. Then later, he showed me his colorful neck several times as he breathed in and out.

With a low of 48 degrees this morning, the hummingbirds are back at the feeders. Fortunately for them, the weather is predicted to warm back up today. The feeders are providing some welcome nectar now, but everyday new hummingbird friendly plants are blooming in my garden. Most of my perennials attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees, so I'm sure we will be enjoying their antics until next winter.