Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Meet the Queen (of the backyard)

This may be a little bird, but it is a terror when it comes to another Hummingbird or other birds who threaten its habitat. I call her "Queen of Sheba" or "Queen" for short. If we are watching TV in the den, sometimes we see this little lady in the window, like a helicopter watching some drama on the freeway. She is soaking up what she sees. There is no telling what is going on in her pea-size mind. She is curious what is happening inside the house. If I have my camera at the window, she will investigate what it is. If the scenery around the place changes, such as putting the BBQ pit near the feeder, she wants to know what it is. She will also investigate when she has no feeder outside to look inside to see if she can spot her feeder. I sometimes wonder if she knows that we are the providers of the free meals. It really does appear that she knows. Each person in the family has at one time or another said something to the effect, "I don't believe that bird is at the window! Why?". Hummingbirds have some sort of intelligence that other birds do not normally exhibit. 1They are also exceptionally territorial and inquisitive.
One evening Miss Queen was off on an outing. Actually, I think she was tending to her brood. In came Mr Wannabe. He took over the territory. In the side yard, he swooped down to the feeder, took a good long drink and went back up to a twig twig to perch and guard his new territory. Sure I said. I gotta see this! He returned to the feeder several times. In 30 minutes, here came Miss Queen. He took off without a challenge. She is a very tough cookie!
I often will spend a few minutes observing behavior when I see one close to the house. We have three, but only one has dubs on the territory - Miss Queen! A male will visit a feeder on the side of the house. I call him Miss Wannabe (sorry buddy). Another female shows up there also. Depending on what Miss Queen is doing at the time, the other two get run out of Dodge. They are not welcome if detected. She just sits on a perch sometimes and watches for them, then like a speeding bullet, there are flashes of light as the unwelcome guests are on the run.

But this goes further. Ask the sparrow. He will tell you she is "h..." on wings! How would you feel is this little thing was aiming her sharp and long mouth at you and flying what seemed to be the speed of light! How much damage can that mouth cause? People have found the bird with its bill stuck in wood! I see a lance being used as a weapon. Well, the poor sparrow which is some 10 times larger then the Hummingbird kept being hit with the bill. It was not comfortable and you see its just finally giving up and saying, "you can have it". What a nuisance in a yard full of birds! Miss Queen owns that section of the yard completely. No one is welcome there but her.

Thank you Miss Queen of Sheba and Mr Wannabe. You create hours of backyard entertainment and you are much smarter than I would have ever thought! I wonder what is in that little head of yours.


1Might Smart for a Pea Brain

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