Monday, May 5, 2008


The unofficial date when Erie hummingbird lovers put up their feeders is May 1st. But because we've had such a warm spring and because one of our oblates told me last Sunday to do so, I put my two up a couple days earlier this year. I bought new ones for both sites, as the old ones were just that--old.

One is on my bedroom window and the other is here on one of the new cloister walk windows in our inner courtyard. Can you see it on the second window from the left? It is a large one but is a bit dwarfed by one of the birds' favorite perches seen here on the right.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the most common and nearly the only ones that come to the eastern U.S. They are wonderfully fun with their territorial swooping at each other, their clicking and squeaking noises and, of course, their amazing colors, especially in full sun: red throats and emerald green backs--both of which look like shining mail on a suit of armor to me.

We have four hummingbird feeders around the Mount, as far as I know--maybe more. All of them receive many visitors, that will come even if you are sitting or standing quite near--as long as you stay very, very still. Lots of pictures show the birds drinking nectar held in a small feeder in one's hand. I think I may try that this year, those who write about it say it's a unique experience.

The magazine Birds and Blooms has a great website with a section that features hummingbirds: Hummingbird Central they call it. Enjoy.

Photo by Charlotte Anne Zalot, OSB