Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Brutal Buff-bellied!

The more I look at my pictures of this Buff-bellied Hummingbird, the more I realized I wanted to write something more about them. After all, such a cute bird deserves to be acknowledged.

A little over a year ago, I had the pleasure of hearing Kenn Kaufman describe the reality of a cute little chickadee and I thought the same thing applies to this cute little hummingbird.

As you look at these pictures, what do you see? Probably exactly what I do – a gorgeous little bird full of color and cute personality, doing nothing more than bathing in the sprinkler and enjoying his little hummingbird life. I was amazed actually at how long this little bird allowed me to photograph him. He stayed in place at least 5-10 minutes and was seemingly okay with me watching him bathe. As I look at these pictures, I wonder what this tiny creature was really thinking. What was going through his tiny little brain as he enjoyed the rays of sun shining through his personal rain shower?

The reality is he is likely thinking about how he can completely dismantle the next cute little hummer that makes his way into the area. You don’t see them in these pictures but there were three feeders within just a few feet of where he was bathing and this hummer believed that they are all his property and can’t be shared. You see, in the hummingbird world sharing is not permitted. Cuteness is nothing more than a disguise of complete selfishness. If and when another hummer approaches the area, this bird will readily and and viciously dive bomb him hoping to inflict enough damage that he will never try again. When you do witness harmony, it is likely more a result of temporary exhaustion. It will only be a matter of moments before the acts of attempted murder resume. And they will continue! Day after day and fight after fight the ruthlessness will never cease.

So, the next time that you see a hummingbird just know that although he may be cute, his thoughts are something entirely different. I’m not trying to de-glorify these jewels of the sky I am merely making a point that looks can be deceiving.


Kelly said...

...loved the post! The photos are gorgeous, as is the bird. It must have been amazing to watch him splash around in the sprinkler and get so close! In the summer it is crazy the way the hummers fight. I have feeders set up in three places so more than one can feed at the same time. They truly can be vicious...but they are so darn cute too!

Roy said...

I have now had an opportunity to look through your blog extensively Chad. You have taken some fantastic images of birds and scenery. It was a pleasure to see the variety of your work. Your enthusiasm certainly shows through the many posts. Thanks.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Great post, Chad.... We have Ruby Throated Hummingbirds each spring--and I put up about 4 different feeders for them... BUT--they chase each other away from any of the feeders. ONE thinks he owns that feeder --even though there are places where several can eat... You are right.. They are cute, but they are AGGRESSIVE... We call the ones who chase off the others, the "Bully"... ha

Have a great day.

Indiana State Bird

Indiana State Bird
Northern Cardinal