“(It’s) … no bigger than a Hornet, yet hath all the dimensions of a Bird … bill … wings … quills, spider-like legges, small clawes: for colour she is glorious as a Raine-bow; as she flies she makes a little humming noise.”
Neither he nor his friends had seen anything like it in Europe – the hummingbird is strictly a New World bird.
Here in North America hummers are, for the most part, summer visitors. As nectar sippers, their passage is regulated by the blooming season of flowers. When midsummer brings on masses of red, tubular blossoms, you sometimes find hummingbirds in such numbers that they fill the air with a beelike hum. Or sometimes they come to find you.
In one of those stranger than fiction situations, we were sitting in the coach working on this column when a hummingbird zoomed up and peered inside our window. For a long moment she hovered there, beating her tiny wings at a blurry 80 beats per second. She didn’t offer to be interviewed or to criticize what we had written, so when her curiosity had been satisfied, she swooped back to her favorite perch in the tree. (Read the rest …)