the hummingbird family of Zip 1

Lenny La Rue, IPA

Sacramento, United States

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Artist's Description

Zip is the hummingbird that followed me around Weedy Field for a year after I took this shot. She’s the one being fed and her mom is the bird in the photograph elsewhere sticking out her tongue at me. Zip’s brother was keeping a sharp lookout for mom and sis and he actually was the one that spooked them all when they suddenly scattered for the last time. Yes, mom hummingbird took me to this nest just as she fed them for the last time and they went their separate ways, Zip becoming a fast friend for months.

I left the nest up for a week before figuring they weren’t ever coming back. I took it down and had a good look at the construction and size. With both the siblings in the nest (Mom stood on a branch outside to feed them), it was clear they couldn’t have been more than 2 inches big, and Zip was about half the size of her brother! She also had a malformed wing. She could fly fast but not straight and she couldn’t change directions worth a darn. Many a time I saw her aim for a branch and either hit it directly or overshoot it. LOL! But she could do this wild backwards flying thing about a foot off the ground (probably because she was afraid of falling out of the sky) and entertained me for many a lunch period.

The nasty thing was that hummingbirds are mean, no, downright vicious. They will attack anything. They are also fiercely territorial so fledglings have to fight for their own place in the trees. With Zip following me around, that got her into serious trouble once. She flew to me and was intercepted by two very annoyed hummers. She couldn’t fly well enough to fight or defend herself in the air so she perched on a limb and tried to fight them off by standing her ground. She got poked a half dozen times from opposite directions (with me seeing it thru the telephoto lens) before I realized she wasn’t going to be able to do anything at all but get beaten down. She couldn’t even fly away. I put down the camera and ran to her with pine cones to throw at the meanies and they finally took off. Once they left, Zip did too and I didn’t see her for a few days. But she returned to my side after that and the others didn’t bother her anymore. Maybe they thought her “bodyguard” was a bit too big to mess with. LOL!

Zip was the last of the hummingbirds to leave Weedy Field last year. I doubt she migrated but I haven’t seen her since so she got somewhere warmer than here anyway. :-)

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Artwork Comments

  • jesika
  • KarDanCreations
  • handprintz
  • Lenny La Rue, IPA
  • Nancy Stafford
  • Tara Johnson
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