Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sunbeams Kissing The Air


"The sunlight speaks. And it's voice is a bird:

It glitters half-guessed half seen half-heard

Above the flower bed. Over the lawn ...

A flashing dip and it is gone.

And all it lends to the eye is this --

A sunbeam giving the air a kiss."
~Harry Kemp

Of all the places in my garden to be...

 I wouldn't imagine 
they would spend so much time here... Leyland Cypress Trees.

But what are they doing here?

Could there be a tiny nest hidden among the branches?
A hummingbird's nest is about the size of half of a walnut shell. 
 The outer part is made with moss and plant fibers and spider webs.  

Are they finding some tasty little bugs to eat?
Did you even know that hummingbirds eat bugs?  
They do!
Hummingbirds eat insects and pollen to get protein to build muscle.

Is that a tongue I spy?
Hummingbird tongues can be six inches long.
Their tongue is grooved on the sides to collect nectar
at the rate of 13 licks per second. 
Now that's a lot of licks!

Notice his tiny little feet.
 Hummingbirds have very weak feet and use them mainly just for perching.

Are they sipping dew from the branches?
Hummingbird's drink dew and rain drops and bathe in small pockets of water in leaves.


Or collecting sap from the tree?
Most of a hummingbirds diet is sugar 
which they get from flower nectar and tree sap.

What ARE these little guys doing?

They're twirling...

and spinning...

and dancin' in the sunshine!

Perhaps we should include a bit of dancing in our day!

More facts that may surprise you:

Hummingbirds perch on a tree branch to sleep. They often choose Fir trees because they are thick and offer protection from the elements.  They grasp the branch with its feet and go into a state of semi-hibernation to conserve energy while it sleeps. In this state they lower their body temperature by about 20 degrees and up to 50 degrees.   Hummingbirds can even lower their heart rate from 500 beats per minute to as few as 50. They may even stop breathing for periods of time to conserve energy.

Sometimes while sleeping, the Hummingbird will loosen its grasp just a little and will be found hanging upside down on the branch. When the sun comes out and warms them up, they wake up!  They can raise their metabolism and get their body temperature back to normal usually within a few minutes but it may take up to an hour.

Hummingbirds are very territorial and will perch in trees between feedings to watch the area..and may attack other birds that might try to feed at their food source.

Hummingbirds are only found in North America and South America.  Their range extends as far north as southeastern Alaska and as far south as southern Chile.  South America has the biggest variety of hummingbirds, more than half the species are found there. Ecuador has the largest number of hummingbirds with 163 different species.


  1. Fantastic photos! I can't believe you actually got one sticking its tongue out. I caught one winking at me...

  2. Meredehuit this is absoulutely charming. I live in awe of the idea of actually seeing a humming bird. We have not such birds here.

  3. Oh my!! These are the best hummer pics I think I've ever seen! Are you sure you're not a professional photographer?!?! Honestly, amazing! What a great display 3-4 photos would be hanging in a row. NICE!!

    Your facts are also quite interesting. I did not know most of your facts...bugs? Perching? Semi hybernation? 20 degree body temp and 50 beats per minute? Very impressive!

  4. Dear Meredhuit, Your sequence of photographs that you show here is so full of movement that one has the impression of being on the wing of the hummmingbird itself. I am, of course, enchanted with these birds since in the UK there are none.

  5. Meredenhuit, thank you for all those hummingbird facts, very interesting. and the photos are amazing - you must have a stiff neck from looking up and taking all those photos!

  6. They are amazing little birds.
    Your captures are unbelievable !

    Forgot to answer your question about the's Red Zebra,
    Hubby grows many kinds every year.

  7. Cool the way the camera captures their wings. Very nice photos.

  8. Wonderful photos! Thanks for the hummingbird facts, I had no idea. They are miraculous creatures.

  9. These are the best hummingbird photos I've ever seen! I try and try but cannot get any good photos of these guys. Wow!

  10. Thank you all for your comments. I'm so glad you enjoy this post. This is my first attempt at taking pics of a Hummingbird. You would laugh if you knew how long I have sat with camera in hand to capture these little guys. Seems they are camera shy and to this point would only buzz around my head when I had no camera.

  11. Fabulous photos Meredehuit of those beautiful little birds that I admire on all the USA blogs during the summer months. Great info too.

  12. Wow! What an amazing photography there!

  13. Uh uh, no laughter about how long it takes ... because we share your patience we know the combination of waiting, in the right place, at the right time. Ours are called sun-birds, but they look and behave the same. Here the Ungardener caught the bathing on a leaf

  14. What excellent photos and information! We have hummingbirds that stay here year-round. It's curious where they find food, but apparently they do (plus I put the feeder out when it's really cold, just in case!).

  15. What a great post!!! Wonderful images! So many interesting facts about these creatures! Thank you!!!

  16. Dear Meredehuit, your patience is extraordinary! Those photos grab the eyes and the post is interesting, too. Thank you for sharing the info about those tiny creatures!

    Have you seen the film about them?

  17. The best photos of hummingbirds I have ever seen.I loved all the facts too. I just love your blog and I would have so many questions for you. Utah is one of the prettiest states. I stayed there for three months skiing in Park City and Snowbird. Love it there.

  18. Hello Meredehuit,
    You are so lucky to have such beautiful bird. That was very strange when you wrote that sometime while they are sleeping, they hang them self upside down.
    Nice post, i loved it.
    Have a great day.

  19. Hello Meredehuit, thank you for sharing your wonderful photos and facts about hummingbirds. I don't know what it is about these little birds, but I just adore them and can't get enough of seeing pictures of them!
    What surprised me most of all is just how many different species of them there are. Amazing!

  20. superb photos, excellent articel indeed...

  21. Wondrous photos Meredehuit!! What joy to see them. I see two or three in the garden daily but I am sad in knowing they will depart soon.

  22. What amazing photography! You've missed your calling.

  23. What a fun post! I love the photos and captions you wrote!

  24. Those are amazing photos! I can't seem to get one. I never have my camera with me when I see one fly right by me. Beautiful post!

  25. Superb, outstanding pictures.

    Thanks for admiring my grapes!

  26. How amazing that you captures all those precious moments with your camera! It's just incredible to look at all these picture of the hummingbird that always seems to move so quickly.

    It's a bit belated, but I wanted to thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog a few days ago. I'm only just getting around to coming to visit yours, but now that I found it, I'll be back for more!

  27. What a wonderful set of photos. I'll skip the dancing though, with two left feet I'd be doing a bit more falling than spinning.

  28. It is wonderful special people like you, that makes my heart feel so touched by the beauty that you make us aware of . This world is a crazy place, but you help us to see , that there is more to life , if we just stop, and look around at what the Lord has there for us. You are such a Blessing Thank You So Very Much !!!!.


Welcome to my gardens!
Your comments are the sweet nectar that keeps me posting.
So glad you stopped by!