My Summer Surprise

Over the many years we’ve lived in this house, I’ve managed to accumulate 105 bird species on my yard list (including those birds seen flying over the house). We have mature trees, shrubs, birdbaths and way too many bird feeders for the ones that touch down.

At least once each summer, I see a quick flash of iridescent green whiz by, generally so fast I can’t identify the individual hummingbird species. I’ve been assuming Ruby-throated, just because the odds are better.

A couple of years ago, we decided to remove a huge chunk of lawn and put in a hummingbird and bee garden. The first flowers that we put in were Scarlet Bee Balm Monarda didyma, a very showy flower that hummers love. All the plants in this garden are perennials, and just grow more glorious each year.

Last week I was sitting on my back deck, watching for any warblers or sparrows that might be passing through, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement in the garden.

A HUMMER! In my hummingbird garden!

I whipped up my binos to see a juvenile Ruby-throated feeding on the bee balm. As I was watching him, I remembered I had my camera on my lap so I fired off a series of pictures. They aren’t really the best but two years ago I didn’t have the garden or a digital camera so I’m happy.

I now judge my hummingbird garden a success. As for the bee portion of my garden, I have enough pictures and video for a full length movie on bees. I may have gotten just a teeny bit carried away, and now I need to find some time to edit all of my efforts. Watch this space!

Posted by Pat Bumstead

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2 thoughts on “My Summer Surprise

  1. Thank-you so much for posting this info along with your pictures! I am moving to Calgary from BC (I am an 8th Generation BC-ite) and did not know if I would get to see my beloved hummers again. In BC we get a few different species including the ruby throated and the Anna Hummingbird that is native to this area and stays year round! The males are beautiful shades of metallic green and purple. While I won’t miss waking at 2 &5am to defrost the feeders, I will miss their wonderful personalities!

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