june in charlotte, making it warm enough for birds, but still a
little cool (for bees).while there have
been no ‘cries of thecicada’ yet, the hummingbird frenzy is in
full swing.here’s what we’ve observed,
male (red-necks) and female/young gray bellies.it appears that three alphas
(one redneck, two of the grays) have stepped up to the plate, but at present, it’s still anybody’s game.
meet the red-necks
redneck 2013: redneck
2013 is either one (or two birds that look identical).he’s typical and territorial, but he always gives way
to ‘bright red’, below:
bright red (neck): fondly
referred to as ‘bright red’, he has a radiant red neck that can be seen
from 30-50 feet away.
'the bright one' acquiesces to
the current redneck alpha, ‘dirty little red’.
dirty little red (neck): also
known as ‘scruffy’, ‘scruf’, and ‘alpha’... this red-neck is
beginning to exert his dominance.i’m
convinced that he’s a repeat offender (from last year). he sits, waits, and then chases away any would-be nectar-sippers.
below, thescruf exudes power.
ruby diamond: ‘ruby’ is named
state university’s ruby diamond auditorium, partially because he can
sing.he has a red, diamond-shaped
marking on his throat, which means that he has trouble communicating (at
male ruby-throats show the diamond mark, before embracing the full red neck -- later in life.
meet the grays
gracie: gracie looks a lot like gracie
from last year, but it is difficult to determine.she has a long, gray neck, she’s grace-full,
and large.she’s part alpha, and she
loves to dance/fight with ‘greenback’.
greenback: greenback is the
biggest bird of the brood.s/he (not
surprisingly) has a vibrant, green sheen to the back of the body.s/he prefers to fly while feeding, as shown below:
gray belly: gray belly is
(frankly speaking) about to pop!she’s
pregnant with triplets, and she’s got a very big belly.this future mom is not afraid to belly-up for
a drink, and she will even sit (and gulp) on occasion.
of five is a group of small gray-bellies who run together and wreak havoc
around all of the feeders.alone, they
give way to the alphas, but United, they create diversions, they attack
multiple feeders, or they use a swarming effect to chase an alpha away from a
feeder.since they are young, the jury
is out as to whether they are male or female.i therefore assign gender based upon personality.here’s who’s who:
shades of gray: ‘fifty’ or ‘shades’ is a chameleon.he can make himself small, and slip
inside for a quick drink, or he can bow-up and chest bump with the best of
the rest of them.he often gives
way to fifty shades freed.
shades freed: ‘free’ might appear to be submissive,
but she is actually the dominatrix of the mix.she is coy, cunning, powerful, alluring. a future alpha, for sure.
‘chugger’is asmall bird who loves the multiple-hole feeders.he misses no opportunity to sit down and
chug-a-lug, often being chased (or annoyed) away by ‘flutters’.
one of those birds who flies in, stops, and then darts forward and away,
again and again, hovering (and making a lot of unnecessary noise).flutters doesn’t know if she wants to
drink, kiss, bump, or run away.not a good communicator. a
truly confused (and truly confusing) bird.
f-5: ‘f-5’ is
the neighborhood wildman.he races
in toward the feeder of this choice, but only if another bird is already
there.he then stops on a dime, and
bows-up his chest before fanning-out his tail feathers.with his exaggerated tail and wingspan,
he looks like a hovering fighter-jet.i thought of changing his name to ‘harrier’, but ‘f-5’
is more suitable.
meet 'hopper'. she is our giant neighborhood rabbit.
hopper has a son, 'hops'. he likes to eat, hop, and play hide and seek.
stay tuned for tonight's video... (uh, oh, here it is!) entitled 'frenzy at dusk'. see if you can keep up.