My little feathered friends have come back from their winter vacationing in the south. Most are Rufous with some Anna’s thrown in for good measure.

Around sunset each night their numbers increase dramatically! The collective noun for a group of hummers is a bouquet, charm or shimmer. They gather for “LAST CALL”! They fill up to stay warm during the night. They go into a state of “torpor”. A energy saving mode. So during this “feeding frenzy” they are going CRAZY! The Rufous are actually the ones going crazy, while the Anna’s seem to perch quietly wondering what the ruckus is all about?

During this feeding frenzy period I open the sliding door and just watch and listen to them. By doing this they become familiar with me being there. I like to put my finger out to see If any will perch on it and they do!

Of course I have to remain completely still! Any movement and they are gone instantly! I even found they will take off If somebody walks past within 100 feet!

What you cannot tell is that my hand is being chilled! All the air being disturbed by their wings (50 to 60 times per second) blows the heat away from my hand, making it cold! What you also cannot tell is that when one of them perches on my finger the warmth from their tummies warms that spot up!

So far my perching record is 3.



    1. I like that description Chris “Flappyhoverers”!
      They sure get upset at each other. You can hear them chirping with displeasure.
      A single hummer doesn’t make a sound. Competition creates the chirping.

  1. I’ve hand-fed pine siskins and American goldfinches. It is a treat to have a wild bird perch on your hand to eat shelled sunflower seeds.

    Once, I had a pine siskin “fight” my thumb that I wiggled at it. Another time, I had three fighting each other for primacy on the “feeder”, my hand.

    It was subzero February weather, so it was a test of will to do this for very long.

    I learned how to approach the birds by watching Woodie, my neighbor’s grey tabby cat stalk birds in our yard.

    That you had a hummingbird perch on your hand, though, strikes me as an exceptional variation on this theme since there was no incentive – food – to risk it!

      1. It was painful in that weather. On top of it, I took photos. Somewhere in the pile of negatives, there is evidence. Anyway, it was an interesting interaction with these small creatures, as I’m sure you know ,too!

  2. How, lucky you are to have such wonderful little birds. And what a privilege to have them perch on your hand, even if they do make it cold!
    We have a bird called a goldfinch here in the UK, the collective noun for them is also a charm. Very apt for both birds, I would say.

    1. I think I’ve seen Goldfinch, so I checked on line. Your Goldfinch and ours look unlike each other but then that was the basis for Darwins book “Origin Of The Species” wasn’t it. That geography affects a species development. So one would expect the same bird looking different after being isolated for thousands of years.
      Thank you for dropping in V.M.

      1. all animals react genetically to their geography and over thousands of years that reaction will make the expression of the genes unique.
        Our black bears are different than the mainland bears. Their mussel is black, the ears are more pointed, smaller in size and purple lips.
        Each island environment creates a unique genetic expression.
        The Kodiak bear used to be the same as other Brown bears thousnads of years ago but because of the ice bridge during the last glaciation some of these Brown bears migrated over to Kodiak island.
        Once that ice bridge disappeared the gene pool was isolated and so the genes expressed uniquely, creating the Kodiak bear.

      2. It’s possible to see evolution in action. There is a month called the peppered moth that is a light, speckled colour and is camouflaged on the trunks of certain trees. During the Industrial Revolution, the smoke blackened the buildings and also the tree trunks.the moths now stood out, so got eaten by birds. But occasionally, in all animals, a melanistic form occurs. These were now camouflaged, and soon only black moths were around.
        Then the Clean Air Act was passed and buildings cleaned. The tree trunks also regained their original colour, so the black moths stood out and were eaten. A few of the original coloured moths were still being born, and they prospered. So now peppered moths are once more peppered.
        Your info about the bears is fascinating, too. (Try looking up the links between the herring gulls and the greater black backed gulls as you examine the species around the world.)

  3. How incredibly special. Thanks for filming it. we’ve only had 1-2 hummers so far this year but I think the bigger birds scare them away.

    1. do you keep the hummer feeder away from the seed feeders Noelle?
      Once they find you, they keep coming back! The early arrivers hover outside my door looking for “their” feeder. Once I see that I mix up some nectar and put their feeder up. They enjoy that very much!

      1. We need to move them, Wayne. I think they are too close to the seed feeders. But they also use the Eastern Oriole feeder with have out there.

      2. Hummers are very sensitive to movement of other hummers and other birds.
        I noticed they took off when a neighbour walked past and he had to be over a 100 feet away!

  4. Astounding they light on your finger, Wayne. How cool is this? At our former home in Sacramento, I just sat on your backyard deck with the camera at the ready, and the shimmer of hummers (Love this) fed freely. They do get used to us humans. We have a couple of shy ones here attracted to the feeder and the new crop of petunias.

    1. the trick is zero movement as you already know I’m sure. They are easily frightened away. Sometimes I need to adjust my standing position and so they all fly away very quickly but they come back seconds later!

  5. That’s wonderful, Wayne! I mostly see Anna’s here, and the last few weeks they haven’t been interested in the feeder, so I’ve taken it down for the summer. I always have at least one Cigar Plant (Cuphea), which hummingbirds visit frequently. Last year one hummer nested in my magnolia.

  6. What a fun video to watch. Hummers are so entertaining. I have quite a few at my house in Northern California but most are Anna’s. Only one golden.
    You have a very steady hand to be so still for so long as a perch for them. And what a wonderful experience for you to have them land on your finger.
    Hummers are natures little angels.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. this si where I need to confess Marilyn. I learned the secret to being a steady Freddy is having a mono pod (with a small pillow) under my forearm and to always makes sure the arm is lower then the heart or the arm will fall asleep!

      1. Well that’s very creative and it works!! Where there’s a will there’s a way. Nice of you to share/confess.

  7. Hi Wayne, this is a wonderful video. The bouquet of hummers is a really pretty description. We don’t get these birds here so I always enjoy other peoples posts about them. As you know, I really like birds.

      1. Hmmm, Google says sunbirds are common but I can’t recall ever seeing one and we live next to a bird sanctuary. We are going to St Lucia in July and I’ll ask the guides then. We are going to see marsh birds, especially Marabou Storks.

    1. It appears you and all of Europe do not have hummers Andy. How unfortunate as they are the most delightful bird I’ve ever photographed! Plus they are the only ones that allow me to get close to………as well as some Baldies.

  8. Wayne, this is just wonderful. Animals and birds know when humans are safe and friendly. You are one of the lucky ones to be accepted into their world. Who knew that the tiny wing beats could distribute so much cold air? #3 is a record to be proud of.

  9. How lucky you are to have them trust you and sit on your finger – three is great Wayne and I’m surprised they stopped long enough to perch; they are such a whirlwind of activity. I have not put out my hummer feeders yet … all the counties but me (Wayne County) had frost last night. I woke up to 37 degrees outside and put the furnace back on when I got up and wore a hat and gloves to walk … talk about taking a step backward instead of forward in Spring.

  10. A “bouquet” of hummingbirds is a fitting description. Its fascinating that the two varieties willingly share the feeders and that one doesn’t chase off the other.

    1. they tolearte each other fairl;y well actually. The trouble starts when there are just a few hummers coming around. Usually a male will declare a feeder “HIS” and ward everyone off but If the numbers are too great these alpha males swallow hard and tolerate it!

  11. So wonderful and next to the humming big silence. Thank you that you shared this impressive video, Wayne! Here are our magpies back.Since a large branch of our old cherry tree has lost his life, two or three magpies have appeared every year.They seem to want to take care of the tree. Best wishes, Michael

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