Autumn days are lovely with butterflies and vibrant foliage, but I do miss the tiny jewel-like Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Here are a few glimpses into the lives of a couple of resident juveniles born and raised at Flower Hill Farm. Now they are off on wing with thousands of other hummingbirds southbound towards the tropics.
Hurricane Irene made a comfy perch by bending Thalictrum 'Lavender Mist' into an arch.
My Hummingbird feeder was sometimes also the way station for house-reared Monarchs soon to fly out into the garden. The Hummingbird would try to visit the flower when the butterflies were getting up their courage for a first flight and this is what would greet the little bird. It seems to work in startling the hummers but it would not work with other birds. The Monarchs must know that the hummer is not really a threat, for I often see them fly away when larger birds prey upon them in the garden.
At last free of butterflies and the hummer can have a sip of Geranium nectar. I hope these precious birds have a safe journey to the tropics and return to the gardens next year.
You can see and learn more about Ruby-throated Hummingbirds on an earlier Birds in Review post.