Monday, September 13, 2010

Hummingbird Feet

I promised a post about hummingbird feet, so here it is. I was actually surprised to discover that hummingbirds had feet at all, heretofore believing the myth that they never light. That myth was debunked within an hour of hanging a new beautiful feeder on the deck.

"Hang it and they will come." Right away. Who knew so many hummingbirds were waiting nearby for a pretty red feeder? This one doubles as a garden ornament, brushed copper with shiny red glass globe. A bit pricey, but when I saw it at my local hardware store, I couldn't resist---having wanted a hummingbird feeder but refusing to hang the tacky red & yellow plastic variety. But I digress.

Back to the little black legs and feet that hang like two fine three-pronged wires under the floppy torsos of the tiny bird bodies hovering around the feeder. Tiny they are, but perch they do. All the time. They zoom back and forth between the cherry trees and the feeder, lighting on exposed twigs and occasionally even on the feeder itself. Their legs are no longer than 1/2 inch. The little prongs for feet are like the bent end of a staple, only black. I can't take my eyes off them, wondering at their size.

Of course, the hovering and nectar sipping acrobatics are equally noteworthy, but those I knew to expect. The feet I didn't. I can guess that experienced hummer watchers would be shocked at my ignorance. I also predict this will not be my last post about these remarkable ruby-throated gems. dkm


Ellen said...

Our red throated hummers perch on all kinds of things: twigs on shrubs, bird feeders intended for others., tree twigs. Quite wonderful to see them at rest.

dkm said...

Live and learn. I had no idea.