The horde of hummingbirds finally came back to my feeder the other day. They had been avoiding it, inexplicably, for a month or so. I wasn't too worried; my neighbor said that the birds hadn't been using her feeder either. A few birds came and went anyway, and that was just fine.
When I moved my desk a few months back, I put that feeder in front of my desk window so I could enjoy the birds while I work. The birds seemed happy. I was happy.
And this situation was going just fine (well, except for my previously documented battle with a couple of different varieties of ants) unless it rained really hard. Here in South Mississippi, we have absolutely torrential rains nearly every afternoon in summertime. I began to notice that the rain was diluting the sugar water in the hummingbird feeder--it would be hard to miss since the liquid faded from bright red to very pale pink. I didn't like having to re-fill a feeder that I had filled only shortly before.
Yesterday was a breaking point. The birds (all of them female for some reason) had been swarming my feeder for days so they must have figured I had some high quality sugar water going on. And I really liked seeing the busy birds all day long. My little feeders (I have two the same) take a couple of days for the birds to empty, so I simply swap out a full feeder and bring the other into the house to clean and prepare for next time.
Yesterday, not half an hour had passed since I put out a fresh feeder, when the rains hit and they came down hard. Really hard. My yard flooded big time. And the fresh feeder went pale pink so fast that even I couldn't believe it. I noticed that the volume of the water coming down was worse because the feeder was right under the edge of the eaves. I decided to move the pole that holds the feeder. I had to experiment with it a bit but I finally got it into a good location.....but that location put the feeder a whole lot closer to where I sit at my desk.
The birds did not appear to take this change very well. While I was working, I'd see the birds swoop in, flutter around wildly, and speed off in dismay. And I kinda thought they didn't like seeing me up closer than usual. I just happened to snap this picture a couple of days before I moved the feeder, and seeing it in my file is what helped me to figure out the source of the hummingbird distress: my laptop.
Yeah, it's shiny. Really shiny. And it's red. Hummingbirds love red. But they also dislike each other, and the aerial battles they engage in can be spectacular. It's been said that the ancient Aztecs believed that the souls of dead warriors inhabit the hearts of hummingbirds. That seems like a reasonable explanation for the feeder wars I've seen. I began to realize that the hummingbirds must be seeing themselves reflected in and possibly amplified or multiplied by the shiny red case of my computer when it was standing open on my desk. That could be the cause for their alarm.
I sell bandanas, so it's no surprise that I had an extra nearby.....well, it was kinda deliberate. It's a Lucky Money bandana. (I may not believe that it will actually bring in more money but why not keep that happy thought.) So with some quilt pins and a couple of pencil erasers to protect me from the pointy bits, I made a temporary hat for my laptop.
The hummingbirds are now feeding with relative calm.....well, as calm as hummingbirds can be.....and I can get back to work in peace.....well, as peaceful as I can be.
Life is good.
Even when the laptop is wearing a Lucky Money bandana.