The rosemary is out in bloom and it’s a wonderful source of food for the hummingbirds especially when a lot of other flowers aren’t out yet.
I have a lovely large bush of this aromatic plant (5 ft high x 4 ft wide) and most dinner usually have rosemary in them.
The smell is wonderful as well as the flavour.
Reminds one of a hot summer day as the oils are released from the plant.
In the language of flowers, rosemary means remembrance.
And that is something that the hummingbirds do well.
Did you know that they remember each flower they have been to?
They also know that once they’ve eaten from it how long it will take for the nectar to be replaced.
Hummingbirds have the biggest brain compared to their body size of any other bird and are extremely intelligent.
They must eat approximately one half of its weight in nectar each day, and on average hummingbirds feed anywhere from five to eight times per hour.
Having spent hours with them waiting to get the perfect photo I can attest that they feed then leave and you twiddle your thumbs for about 10-15 minutes before they suddenly appear again.
If their feeder is getting low they will actually come and hover at my window letting me know they need a fill up on the nectar feeder.
It is said they recognize the person that feeds them and according to their behaviour when I’m around I think they know I’m their food train.
One thing I have noticed over the years is that they tend to gravitate to flowers that are closest to their original genetic makeup as they seem to get the most nectar from those flowers.
Last year I had some beautiful fuchsias with unusual colouring and I was surprised that the hummingbird basically ignored the plants.
Disappointed as I thought they would love them I did a little research.
Turns out that hybrid flowers produce very little nectar so the hummingbirds don’t bother with them.
My flower gardens were planted specifically for the birds especially the hummers and bees.
One of their favourites is a wild fuchsia that grows here on the west coast into a bush about 5 feet high and across.
They will spend the summer ferociously defending it even to the point of stabbing an unlikely victim with their beak.
All year round I get to enjoy these little helicopter like birds that can stop on a dime, hover and then zoom away at high speed.
They really are an amazing little bird!
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