Saturday, March 28, 2009

a Hummer by any Definition

A female Golden how droll, how drab but still pretty neat.

A male Ruby Throat in all his splendor, bannding No.77654987 better know in these parts as leon
Ain't this fellow a prince Banding No.77654974  A.K.A Simon

Now I ask yuh , what the hell chance does a guy have agaisnt a showoff like this?
The truly amazing things about these little fellows is their metabolism, what with a heartbeat just slightly in excess of one thousand beats per minute they are truly high performance finely tuned machines much like a fine European sports car. Then a thousand wing beats per minute turn them into natures equivalent of fighter planes gone mad. Direction means nothing to them, I have even seen them fly with their heads orientated towards the ground and their asses pointed towards the sky, as stated direction means nada. The only way one sees them is either hovering motionless or going Uber fast, there seems to be no middle of the road for these little Demon Gems of the air.

However along with this most fantastic and frenetic life style comes a price, the entire day is spent finding high energy food and fighting and the amount of food consumed is truly astonishing. Take for example if a normal human being were to have the metabolic rate equal to that of a humming bird that person would have to consume something in the neighborhood of 640 pounds of beef per day JUST to stay alive and this would mean being hand fed as the preparing of the meat and the cutting up of same would require even more energy. 

At night they go into a state of almost complete torpor or hibernation that is to say they are at night as close to being dead as can be without actually being dead. Their heat beat slows down to less than one beat per min and their body temp falls to that of the surrounding air. 

All of this in a beautiful little creature that weighs less than 1/10th of one ounce and is as fearless as a lion.

And the colors, Oh My, they are most assuredly like precious gems taken to wing. 
I really an proud to call so many of them friends.


9 comments:

nobody said...

I know exactly what you mean! Here I am, a man who'd just love to check out that hummingbird, and there's some idiot girl in the picture. Me to photographer - Guy! How about a close up? Sheesh!

susana said...

No chance at all.

the Silverfish said...

Ok Ok already, close ups it shall be along with some little known facts on hummers. They may surprise you.

nobody said...

Silv, did you take those photes? Absolute crackers!

(Um, 'cracker' equals 'brilliant thing/sterling example'. Not a biscuit. Ayah! biscuit equals 'cookie'. Bloody North Americans! If only they'd speak English!)

Anyway, thanks mate. Who needs Attenborough?

nobody said...

Waitaminute! I get how you'd band a buzzard. But how would you band a hummingbird? Without breaking it that is...

the Silverfish said...

Yes the photos are ALL mine.
Pics of humming birds however are all pretty much the same, they are either good sort of or they are complete crap, Yuh know just a blur.
You having never seen a real humming bird have no idea just how fast these little bastards are.
Now I've never clocked them simply because I have no idea as to how one would but I would hazard a guess that they can go from zero to some 140 km/h in something less than a second. And then stop and reverse in the speed of a thought. The dynamics simply boggle the mind.

Many people here think that there are no humming birds in Manitoba or at best very few simply because they have never seen one, The fact of the matter is that there are many it’s just that most people never get to see them because they move so goddamn fast. If your not keyed into hummers they for the most part are just that little something out of the corner of your eye, yuh know by the time you turn and focus it’s gone, just like the Fairies that live down at the end of the garden or the Dragons that live down in the valley.
Sometimes one just has to believe, and then amazing things begin to happen.

As far as the banding well that’s a story into it self, but it’s no big deal. Just special bands and tools and patients. For the most part they come to me, sit on my fingers and we have a chat, yuh know about the weather, the flower situation Blah Blah Blah. Then I gently take them into my hand, they tuck in their legs and I gently put the band on their leg, and then crimp it around using a special tool that I received from the Audubon society along with several thousand bands. Bing bang and they have a nice shiny bracelet complete with really teeny weenie numbers, it’s all the rage yuh know, bling an all that. Then they are given a lecture about NOT entering the house should I or the dogs leave the door open and then they are sent on their way with no harm done and no feathers ruffled. All in all it’s all-good.

the Silverfish said...

There really is so much more to say about how good life is here at the nest, well most of it's pretty good, some things not so much.

Like I would really like to contiue with Catherine and Alex because the years we spent together were realy fantastic,but that would deal with their death. I would really like to continue the tale simply because it was truly a Hoot, pun intended. Perhaps I shall.

Then of course there are the stories of Tasha the Great Min Pin dealing with skunks at three in the morn, Or the Great Danes Odin, Poseidon, Phobos and Demos taking care of wild turkeys at 145 in the morning. These and a hundred more stories including deer, moose, coyotes, wolves, cougars , bears and a super mouse have lead me to believe that I have nothing to fear from the natural world, nothing at all.

What I do have to fear is simply the world of Man, nothing more.

Penny said...

aren't the hummingbirds nice, funny I was recently reading a big article on them in a docs office, with some really great pictures.

I wish you would finish up the owl stories, I was enjoying the tales immensely

john said...

Nice photo's Silverfish, they are lovely birds and it must be good to have them around there. The only thing that we have here that are a bit like that are the hummingbird moths that we see sometimes. You have some good friends there for sure.

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