15_the_circle: (hummingbird)
Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 10:41 pm
... time to start keeping an eye on the annual hummingbird migration
15_the_circle: (hummingbird)
Friday, July 1st, 2011 01:18 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

First hummingbird!




better late than never, and a wonderful way to celebrate Canada Day, eh?

15_the_circle: (hummingbird)
Monday, March 21st, 2011 07:57 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

It's that time of year again.  They're on the way

The annual departure and return of the hummingbirds are perhaps the lowest and highest points of the year.  respectively, of course.  As a guide to the inevitable anticipation the map linked above is helpful but not exact: the first few waves of passers-through never stray this far from the coastal and river valley flyways so it's generally always much later when they first appear in the Grove. 

Does that keep me from looking out for them sooner -- a lot sooner -- than that? 
Of course not. 

15_the_circle: (hummingbird)
Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 06:54 am

[OT from cottage renovations]

Saturday evening, 19:09 hours: first hummingbird sighted at the feeder.  a male, quite wary of humans, he had probably been coming for a while. 

15_the_circle: (hummingbird)
Sunday, April 25th, 2010 01:42 am

[OT from cottage renovations]

the Annual Hummingbird Race is on. 
each year my own sense of well being is driven by the uplift received from three species, one plant and two avian.  the Virginia Bluebells seemed to come early in this year's highly compressed springtime and the song of the wood thrush is still a few weeks away from rippling through our treetops.  but as for now: this is the time of waiting for the return of the hummingbirds, their arrival the next checkpoint in the unfolding of the year. 

according to this year's online migration tracker map the leading edge of this year's northbound migration passed through the region several weeks ago, earlier than usual (the site also has 14 previous years of data for anybody who might be curious about the patterns).  I've generally figured that those firstcomers take the coastal flyway and are therefore unlikely to transit the Grove's airspace.  the ones that do should be here ... any time now. 

feeder and beacon have been deployed for a week and anticipation is running high. 

15_the_circle: (hummingbird)
Monday, March 30th, 2009 09:35 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]
[crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] hummingbirders]

it's been a long time, too long, since they cleared out last year.  with each year's seasonal departure it seems like they take a part of me away with them; I'm not really whole until they return. 

already the northward migration is underway; soon they will be passing through.  some may even stay over if conditions appear suitable. 

as always, the tracking map over at hummingbirds.net is updated daily and is well worth watching.  in a way it makes the waiting easier, though the lag between first report in the region and first spotting here is always far longer than it has any right to be. 

15_the_circle: (hummingbird)
Sunday, August 31st, 2008 11:55 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

it started with the beacon. 

it was over a month ago when it occurred to me that the lack of activity around the hummingbird feeder was a consequence of the absence of annuals out front and hanging baskets on the porch (as an austerity measure they have been suspended for two years now). 

no floral colour -> no attraction -> no hummingbirds. 
in order to attract business, one must advertise. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)



the beacon


advertising banner displayed on front porch

yes, it is identical to a Japanese naval ensign.  but hummingbirds see it as a large red flower, and once it brings them in they find the feeder right away. 

here's what happened (13 images) )

these last two, taken as afternoon fades into dusk, are worth clicking through for the higher level of detail in the larger image. 




15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Saturday, June 14th, 2008 10:27 am

[OT from cottage renovations]


this week saw three rites of spring:

  • the first fireflies, seen Wednesday evening. 
     
  • the annual exercise of clearing everything off the porch and then going after it with hose, map, brush and Murphy oil soap.  it's amazing how much crud accumulates (thanks, kittycats) and what a difference it makes to remove it. 
sacre du printemps - lavage du porch
grimy -> gleaming
  • the results of the first-hummingbird-in-the-Grove contest.  the only ones I've seen this year have been in California (heading out there again this evening and presumably will be seeing more of them over the next couple of weeks, but it's not the same).  the feeder has been out on the porch for over a month with contents refreshed, but to no avail.  the usual defeat was reported by telephone this morning and I replied with as gracious a concession to the victrix as I could manage but the outcome was not so bitter: it was a relief to learn there are any around at all.  I had been starting to wonder. 
15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Tuesday, April 1st, 2008 03:49 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

yes, it's that time of year again ... the feeder is out and the annual race is on.  the outcome -- win or lose -- will be posted in this space. 

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Thursday, January 31st, 2008 06:33 am

[OT from cottage renovations]
[crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] hummingbirders]

it is interesting to learn that an Anna's Hummingbird chirp is produced by tail feathers (BBC) and fascinating to see an 80-frame overlay of one diving:

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)


image: BBC
15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Tuesday, August 14th, 2007 11:53 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

it's happened before: when things have been dry for a long time if one takes a hose to water the dogwoods out back the activity will attract birds. 

today's participants were two juvenile cardinals, a chickadee, and to my lasting delight a hummingbird.  she darted in and out of the spray, perched on a twig and did the whole happy dance: shaking her feathers, preening, and arching her back with beak uplifted to catch the falling drops.  one doesn't have to project to understand clearly that she was really enjoying it.  all this was going on not more than a couple of feet beyond arm's reach.  not that I would have grabbed -- far from it -- that's just an indication of how close she was.  it went on for perhaps 10 minutes and I was riveted. 

it's gotten me to wondering whether there might be a way to capture the moment in an image.  camera in one hand and hose in the other is probably well past the redline of my klutz-o-meter but I'm pretty tempted. 

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Sunday, May 6th, 2007 11:54 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

having lost the annual hummingbird race the least I can do is post an image of the winning feeder and location.  the first customers were seen before these azaleas came into bloom; surely that mass of red helps reinforce the attraction. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)



Chestnut Avenue

the winner ...
15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Sunday, April 29th, 2007 11:59 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

while cleaning the porch in the afternoon I was happy to note multiple visits to the hummingbird feeder from a pair of customers.  it would be wonderful if they were nesting rather than just passing through, but that remains to be seen. 

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Friday, April 27th, 2007 02:48 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]

spring moves forward in many ways.  as flowering species come into bloom each new one is lifting to the spirit, and as the birds return the two that I look and listen for most closely are the hummingbirds and wood thrushes, respectively. 

  • yesterday I once again lost the annual first-hummingbird race to friends over on Chestnut Avenue.  as usual I was so pleased with the report that the other aspect didn't matter (and anyway they are native Chicagoans, devout Cubs fans, so one can hardly begrudge them this annual triumph). 
     
  • and today the Circle is filled with the song of the thrush. 

that makes it official: spring is here. 

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
Wednesday, April 4th, 2007 11:12 pm

[OT from cottage renovations]


watch the front edge of this year's Ruby-throated hummingbird migration.  updated daily. 

15_the_circle: (before)
Wednesday, May 4th, 2005 09:49 am

[OT from cottage renovaations]

as of this morning I am noting regular traffic to the hummingbird feeder.  I haven't had the chance to observe enough activity to tell whether it's multiple customers or just the one.  an ongoing customer issue for which I am part of the response has caused a string of very long days at the office, such that I haven't been able to get back until well after dark (there's something wrong with that phrase.  "ill after dark" is more like it).