Friday, August 28, 2009

Tiny, mighty hummingbirds

Brian managed to get the best shot of a hummingbird so far this summer. This one is feeding on the bee balm.

Hummingbirds have to be among the coolest birds ever. So tiny, but so fearless! They hover and divebomb and buzz our heads seemingly without care. We've had ruby-throated hummingbirds all summer, but activity seems to have ramped up the past few weeks. One sunny day this week, there were five at one time trolling for nectar on the bee balm. I suppose they're loading up on food in anticipation of the fall migration. I don't plant specifically to attract them; it just seems that we favor many of the same plants -- such as bee balm and catmint. But they're really not picky -- I've seen them at almost anything in bloom.

Hummingbirds migrate alone. describes them as commuters on a freeway, all going the same way on the same road but doing it alone. Sounds kind of sad and inefficient, but there really are good reasons for going it alone, not the least of which is it makes them a less visible target for predators.

If you feel like traveling this weekend, there's a hummingbird festival in Henderson, Minn.


  1. Brian and Karen!

    Thanks so much for the "Raspberry Wine" bee balm! I am hoping it multiplies quickly to take the place of all the Catmint I'm digging out!

  2. You're very welcome! Enjoy!