This is the time of Summer when my sugar water production switches into high gear. I spent the weekend cooking up 10 lbs. of sugar for my humming birds. The top shelf of the refrigerator is full of nectar, yet I’m afraid the supply won’t last more than a few days.
This morning, standing at my kitchen sink, washing the feeders from last night, I observed the oddest thing. Two hummers arrived at the feeder nearest the window: a fat baby with its mom and much to my astonishment the mom has a white tail.
At first I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, but no, it is true: The female bird’s tail feathers are not just white at the tips as is common and can best be seen when the birds spread their tail feathers while hovering in place, this female’s tail has stark white feathers on both sides of the tail and the bottom half of the middle feathers are also completely white. How very odd, and visible like a beacon.
I can’t recall seeing her before and I am curious to find out more about her. I’ll be watching out for her to chronicle her stay at Sontheim. Seeing her for the first time reminds me of Hagar, the Hummer male with a completely black head. He first showed up at our feeders several summers ago and was the first to return to us in Spring for three years in a row. Of course, this year we have several boys with black heads at our feeders and we can no longer tell which one of them is Hagar. I suppose it’s evolution at work, or maybe just a genetic anomaly.