I love just about all creatures but if I had to pick a favorite I think it would have to be the hummingbird. I have been fascinated with these amazing little creatures with wings that beat so fast that they are a blur, and with a flight pattern unlike that of any other bird. These amazing little creatures can fly backwards and hover in space!  They are truly amazing! I’m not sure how or why I got the idea…perhaps I was bored as a teenager as many teenagers are.

Growing up on a lake outside of a small coastal Oregon town, there really wasn’t a lot “going on” in the mind of a teenager so I had to find ways to entertain myself.  One summer I decided I was going to make friends with my favorite bird.

We had a hummingbird feeder hanging on our deck where I loved to watch the hummingbirds. One day I stood on a chair near the hummingbird feeder with my face a few inches from the feeder. I stood there & stood there and stood there… for a very very long time. The little hummingbird was cautious but eventually decided it was safe to drink next to the human’s face. I could feel the air from its tiny beating wings on my cheeks, like a little fan. I was delighted!  But why stop there? I decided I was going to get one to perch on my finger. More time…more patience…more holding really really still but eventually the patience paid off and one landed on my finger! It was so tiny I could barely feel the weight of it on my fingers. I felt like this was a major life accomplishment.

Fast forward from a teenager to 20 plus years later and I still love my little hummingbird friends as much as I did all those years ago. The flowers in my yard are not there by accident. Nearly all of them are selected because they are flowers that the hummingbirds like. I’m always sad to see them go in the fall when they return to their wintering grounds to the south but every year I count the days until their arrival in the Spring being sure to mark the first sighting on my calendar so I’ll know when to put their feeders out the next year.

This last spring, not long after they had begun to arrive on a nice warm day, we had left the door open in our living room that leads out onto our deck. All of the sudden there was this loud buzzing in the living room! It was a wayward hummer that had strayed from the outside deck into our living room. He instinctually flew towards the bright windows on the other side of the living room. I ran for my cat and locked him in the bathroom and then quickly returned to the window, cupped my hands around the distressed little hummingbird and caught him like a little moth. He was chattering at me once I had him in my hands but I quickly took him out the door and opened my hands and away he flew.

At the time I thought it was just a simple bird rescue but it has proven to be more than that. It was the beginning of a special friendship. This little guy seems to know that after I rescued him that I won’t harm him and he seems to trust me like no other hummingbird has done before.

We live in the mountains and share the mountain with all kinds of wildlife like bears and raccoons so over the years we have learned after replacing a few crunched feeders that it’s a good idea to bring all our birdfeeders in every night. Part of my morning routine besides making coffee and feeding my kitties is hanging the bird feeders. Every morning like clockwork my new little friend now greets me and before I can even hang the feeder on the hook he has landed on the feeder while it is still in my hand! I patiently wait for him to finish and then I hang the feeder. Often I’ll come out on the deck and greet all the birdies and tell them it’s breakfast time and now he even seems to know my voice!

The other day the honeybees also discovered my hummingbird feeder so I decided to move the feeder to a new location. I told my little friend I was moving it. I couldn’t see him but he must have been watching and listening to me because when I went to the hang the feeder on the tomato cage, he again landed on it before I could even get it hung. Later in the day the bees disappeared so I moved it back  to where it was and again my little friend followed me! Before he flew to the feeder though he flew to me and hovered in front of me for a second as if to say “thanks!” and then flew on to his feeder. We have other hummingbirds too but they are more skittish and none of them seem to have the trust and the friendship that this little guy and I share. Perhaps he remembers the day I rescued him from the confines of our house.

Whatever the reason is that this little guy trusts me, I consider myself very lucky and I’m glad to have friends or rather “a friend” in high places.  🙂

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