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ursulav

Hummingbird Fledglings!

Ha! I have confirmation at last–Single Female Hummingbird has raised a pair of babies in the yard.

I had a suspicion when two hummingbirds showed up out of nowhere, and Single Female Hummingbird didn’t chase them away immediately. She is merciless to intruders into HER yard. These two she tolerates to be on the other side of the bee balm, although if one makes for a flower that she’s working on, she gets pretty annoyed.

But it was only a suspicion, because a young adult hummingbird looks exactly like an adult female hummingbird*, so for all I knew, I was just hosting some peculiar avian sorority. But today I actually got a close look at one of the newcomers, and he had fluff. The last bits of baby down were still clinging to his little feet, and particularly ridiculously, to the top of his head.

So Single Female Hummingbird successfully raised a pair of babies! (Male hummingbirds are deadbeat dads.)

I am terribly gratified. This goes along with the single pipevine swallowtail caterpillar on the hairy Dutchman’s pipe as Awesome Stuff In The Garden This Summer. And now I can add ruby-throated hummingbirds to the list of birds that have raised babies in the yard, which includes blue-gray gnatcatchers, white-breasted nuthatches, Carolina chickadees, tufted titmice, red-bellied woodpeckers, and possibly most gratifying, the pileated woodpecker. (Only one baby there, but it was a BIG baby.)

 

*The ruby gorget that marks males doesn’t show up until next year.

Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.

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Are you morally compelled to sing the words "SINGLE FEMALE HUMMINGBIRD" in Bender-voice, or is that just me?

My cousins were married on a cruise ship. On this cruise ship, we had assigned seating in the dining room. I was (of course) at the Troublemakers Table, the place at which you were seated if'n it was expected that you would probably cause trouble if'n you were seated anywhere else.

Not that it's terribly material, but this table included myself, my wife, my mother, the groom's aunt, and the bride's mother.

And, every night, the charming waiter would recite the menu, and one would choose amongst the many delectable choices he would offer, and irrespective of one's decision, he would always respond "excellent choice".

On the second or third night, I forget which, after much alcohol and varying degrees of success at acquiring the 'sea legs' as it were, we sat down to dinner minus one guest, and the waiter inquired "And will Madame be joining us this evening?"

I replied "Madame is in her stateroom, being violently unwell".

He replied, without missing a beat, "Excellent choice".

We tipped him generously.

And to this very day, whenever I ask an either-or question to which someone answers 'yes', I always hear, in the accent of a BBC-standard-English-as-spoken-by-a-filipino-gentleman:

"Excellent choice".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr51qrkZHEg

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