Birding Notes

Reflections on birds and other wildlife on the edge of a southern woodland

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Cherry Tomatoes

By eight o’clock this morning, a soft blue sky was emerging from wooly white clouds and the sun was high and already bright, but bird calls were few and scattered. Carolina Wrens are among the most vocal right now, singing, calling, fussing, trilling, burbling from the low shrubs around the house and edges of the woods. And Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the flashiest and easiest to watch. At least three or four stay busy around our back-deck feeder and the red geranium blossoms all day. One afternoon recently we watched as one persistent male visited almost all of the red cherry-tomatoes on a vine in a pot on the deck, coming back again and again, as if he just couldn’t believe all those glowing red fruits didn’t have anything sweet he could get to. At first I just laughed – then I wondered if sometimes the hummingbirds might get juice from overripe little tomatoes. I have not seen one do this, but will keep watching.

A Pileated Woodpecker trumpeted in the woods off and on all day, and once I heard the whreep! of a Great-crested Flycatcher. A Summer Tanager called pik-a-tuk-tuk-tuk, making its way through the woods but staying out of sight in the heavy, faded foliage.


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