After scanning through many photos from the past few years I had a number of them where the Rubies were enjoying the rain. I thought it would be interesting to put together a compilation of them in all different settings, showing how much they like the rain. **Each image can be clicked on to enlarge for greater detail.
Although they don't like driving rain and hail, they will frequently perch out in the rain, fan out their wings and catch the drops and bath with them. This youngster recently solved this feeder, and nothing would chase it away. It sat there, periodically dipping it's beak into the sweet nectar. The rain gently fell forming little beads of water on it's head and back.
This was a cool and very windy day, and even though the rain was driving down, the Rubies still showed up to feed. They weren't that impressed with the weather, and they didn't do a lot of chasing, but in order to keep up that fast metabolism they have to frequently take in large amounts of nectar. You can see the rain falling and spattering across the feeder pole.
After much rain had fallen, many flowers were completely saturated with water. Any flowers tilted upwards would have their nectar diluted with rain water, so the young hummingbirds would search out any downward flowers that still contained the undiluted sugar water.
This was a late season adult male Ruby that stayed very close to it's claimed feeder, yet out of the falling rain.
When it's miserable outside the fighting and chasing would slow down, but it doesn't keep them away from the feeders. I loved how every pine needle held a drop of water and sparkled in the background.
This young male was fascinated with the colorful lilies, but didn't get much from them. He would poke about and play in them, but in the end they worked better just as a perch.
I sit here staring out the window while watching the brisk winds shaking off the crispy autumn colored leaves. A dusting of snow is scattered across the roof tops, and summer is gone. About 6 weeks ago the final hummingbirds left my garden, and now there's only 30 weeks to go. The Rubies haven't even reached their winter destination, or should I say summer for those who live in the southern hemisphere, and I'm in withdrawal already. Seems like a distant memory since the last time I watched hummingbirds squabble over feeders and flowers.
I just wasn't made for winter, and I mean real winter for those who never experience -30 C or colder temperatures where bones can crack like thunderous ice shifts. Now all I have are memories of green grass and colorful flowers when I last sat on the garden bench soaking up those warm gentle summer breezes and having the hummingbirds entertain me. Can't wait for next Sunday. It'll only be 29 to go.
Here is a young Ruby-throat lapping up the nectar from a cluster of Delphinium flowers from early August. N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Author of Jewel of the North. Please post your comments and questions.