Ruby-crowned, Yellow-rumped and Rufous, A Drama with ColorPosted: February 2, 2015
The setting is a peaceful garden bed.
Sweet little Ruby-crowned Kinglet has been enjoying the sugar water feeder and yummy bugs.
And then Yellow-rumped Warbler arrives and sees that Ruby-crowned has a sweet set up. Unfortunately, he can’t quite figure out how to use the feeder. Regardless, he will not let Ruby-crowned use it and chases her off every time she comes near.
Yellow-rumped has to get his sugar high from licking the drips from the ground.
Meanwhile, the tiny Rufous Hummingbird also has to have his share of the sweet stuff and chases the bigger birds away with his needle-like beak.
As I had mentioned in a previous blog, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet had shown up in the garden and I put some nectar out in a hummingbird feeder. I found the Kinglet only likes that shape of feeder tube and needs to have something to land on, as they cannot flutter for long. Male Kinglets have a red tuft of feathers on their heads that they show when startled. They winter here on the Gulf Coast.
I have the feeder set up outside my kitchen window and I am entertained while eating or working at the kitchen table. I also took all the photos through the window, which made it difficult to get good shots, not to mention that these birds do not hold still for long.
I soon noticed a Rufous Hummingbird using the feeder. It was the first time this winter that I have seen one. These Hummingbirds spend their summers in the northwest, which is why they can tolerate some of our “cold” days. Little tiny Hummingbirds can be quite aggressive and the Rufous would chase the Ruby-crowned from the feeder.
And then, the Yellow-rumped Warbler showed up. Usually, these Yellow-rumped stick together and forage in the trees looking for bugs. They especially like Wax Myrtle berries that are now ripe and are probably the reason they are hanging out in the Automatic Garden.
This Warbler has developed a bad case of sugar addiction. He comes by several times an hour and the bird does not want to share! The Warbler knows the sweet water comes from the feeder, but can’t quite figure out how to get it. He has been studying and exploring the bottle for days. As I was writing this, he did try to flutter and drink from the tube, but immediately flew off, so he probably was not successful. The last photo shows a little bit of his yellow rump. When the Warbler’s wings are open the spot is about the size of a quarter.
The little actors are still putting on their drama and it is time to fill the feeder so the show will go on!