I've frequently talked about the predictability built into the DNA of hummingbirds, which allows us to learn and understand their behavior far more than if they just acted erratic and inconsistent all the time, but there's that special ingredient that's been added to the mix that makes them exciting every time we see them. That's the unpredictability factor. A few variables that we'll never know about have been tossed into the pot, stirred up and added to what we normally think should be.
We sat in the yard under a large Maple tree. Ziggy chose to sit 10 feet above us the whole time, with the odd feed mixed in, of course, but then right back to his perch. Some think it's lucky to be pooped on by a hummingbird. They're wrong! The only luck involved is that they're not the size of a Thanksgiving Turkey. He appreciated the shade as did we, but his head twitched constantly as he scouted his territory, his feedings were consistent to the feeders, but then one little thing changed. He got the sudden desire to do something out of normal. From his perch above us he did a pendulum swing, setting his wings so gracefully right down to the Purple Misty Salvia about 75 feet away. He fed from every developed flower and then returned right back to his perch above us.
It may sound like a little thing, but it's those little things, those variables that change slightly within their behavior, that we'll never understand. It's those things in all of the wonderful world of nature that makes each moment different and unique. That's what draws us to bird watching. It's the moments where they deviate slightly from the norm and do something that attracts our attention.
If every day were completely predictable about their behaviors, our interest would be quickly lost. It's the variables that have been thrown into their DNA that continue to draw us into a world of birding that's so exciting.
Ziggy, the male Ruby-throat hummingbird, sits here preening on one of his favorite perches. N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. June 14th, 2019.
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