May 1st is a much anticipated day here on the farm.
Typically it is right around this date that the hummingbirds arrive
from their arduous journey north from the Caribbean, where they spend the winter.
These tiny birds get right to work building nests and laying eggs.
During this time their visits to the feeders are frequent and usually
consist of much shrieking and dive-bombing as they vie for feeding rights.
This is one of the times of summer when traffic at the feeders is heavy,
as the parents are preparing to raise their young.
Hummingbirds are quite territorial and spend much time chasing each other away
from the never-ending source of sugar water.
Then come mid-summer it seems as though the hummingbirds all but disappear.
Where do they go?
It is at this time of year, when they are feeding their newly hatched babies,
that their diet switches to one of primarily tiny insects.
These insects provide the necessary protein for their growing hatchlings.
Once the babies are almost full grown, the birds switch back to
their high-carbohydrate diet of nectar (or sugar water).
By the end of summer, traffic picks up around the feeders
and the most hummingbirds of the entire season are seen flitting and feeding,
chasing, and shrieking, and dive-bombing each other.
This is the time that energy must be stored for their long flight back to the Caribbean.
Isn't nature amazing?
You might remember my silly story the other week about Kenny Roger's
entrance into the witness protection program.
All kidding aside, Kenny is now living out his days in the barn...
in the company of some pretty cool cats.
Kenny is old and has come up lame.
Getting around is quite difficult for him, making it necessary to keep
him out of harm's way.
The other roosters were picking on him...chickens have no tolerance for weakness.
I feel a little sorry for him without his hens around,
so I bring him daily treats of blueberries and kitchen scraps...
which he happily munches.