When the little bird continued to show up into December and nights dropped even colder, I called the local hummingbird experts at Wild Birds Unlimited for advice. They recommended putting out fruit in an effort to attract fruit flies, which the little bird needs for protein. My first effort, placing an old banana and a pear core on a plate under the hummingbird feeder, succeeded only in nourishing some nocturnal visitor that very first night. It was gone in the morning. My latest effort seems to be working better. I had a large suet cake cage in the garage, and with a little improvisation have been able to make it work.
The funny thing is that this little hummer seems to have taken up with the group of birds I feed regularly. When the chickadees, titmice, cardinals, rufous sided towhees and juncos appear for their morning breakfast, so does the little hummer. They hang out together in the large rose bush outside the kitchen window.
Yesterday morning, it appeared to be feeding (or trying to feed?) from the blossoms of the Pieris Japonica shrub under the hummingbird feeder. The temperature gauge next to the bush read 22 degrees, but the hummingbird seemed perfectly fine, flying back and forth from the feeder to the rose bush with the other birds, and then to the Pieris shrub. It was camouflaged pretty well perched in the branches, but using my telephoto lens and contorting my body a bit, I got a photo of it from the front.
I've been studying photos on the Internet, and my best guess is that the little visitor is a female Allen's hummingbird. But she could also be a Rufous hummingbird. The Rufous lives on the West Coast, and Allens is common only in coastal California. How did you end up here in North Carolina little hummer? Too bad you can't talk!
|The feathers on her back are so beautiful, a bright emerald green!|