11 May 2010

The Hummingbird Shower....

I am a bird person...
I inherited this affliction...
My parents are bird people from way back.
(remember Mr. Peabody's "way-back machine"?)

I grew up in a household where bird feeders needed to be cleaned.
Where water was refreshed....
and squirrels chased.

squirrels are no longer chased
at my parents' house.
The have made peace with the squirrels,
the squirrels won.
Dad now goes to the one remaining 
actual hardware store
(picture wooden floors, barrels, ladders, high ceilings, 
creaky wooden screen doors)
for big bags of peanuts.

The squirrels even
have a name.
all squirrels in my parents yard
share this name.
Don't ask.

Dad has fashioned a very tall pole
that is attached to the deck outside of their
This pole holds the bird feeder.
There is a shallow container of water too.
It is refreshed regularly.

I am pretty sure
that my parents get more pleasure
 from the birds and 
than they did out of raising my 
brother and me.

But back to the hummingbird shower....

I have a shallow ceramic dish on my front porch
that I refill with fresh water
daily in the summer.
This is primarily for drinking,
but as I sit my my BAKW
and watch the birds at the feeder,
I sometimes have the 
pleasure to see 
someone take a joyous bath.
The fluttering and flapping 
always catch my eye,
and as I watch, 
I catch myself grinning.
The sheer ecstasy of it all.....
is evident.
It rarely takes more than 2-3 minutes
and then they are off to a 
branch to shake it all off....

I feed "hummers" too.
I make my own hummer food
and refill regularly.
But I have wondered......
how do they bathe?
Too small to take a chance on the dish..
and too shy to catch a shower in the 
yard sprinkler, like so many 
smaller birds.
what is up 
with the 
Hummer cleanliness?

I found out today.

The morning has been 
very overcast.....
then it started with a rumble
a shower.....

We had been working on our 
downspouts, just a few nights ago,
so I hurried out to my bedroom balcony,
to check out their efficiency, 
leaned over and saw
a large cow bird in the 
water dish taking a bath.
As I watched.....
a hummer whizzed past,
and up into the tree directly in front of me.
As I watched,
he started to take his shower.....
turning his head this way and that,
fluttering his wings.... 
shaking his boo-tay.....
doing stretches and bends
that would make a 
yoga master envious....
He was bathing but in his own way.
In fact from time to time he would 
move to a more exposed branch
 to take advantage of the shower.
A "master showerer"
he was...

Now I know....


  1. How lucky you were to see the hummingbird in action!

  2. How fabulous!!! I've seen them play in the sprinklers but never have a proper bath. I'll pay more attention from now on! Thanks for sharing. :) – g

  3. Wow I never knew... and what a great capture! :)

  4. Wow! I would love to see that! And I love how your parents have made peace with the squirrels. I finally did, too. I think my blood pressure went down 30%...;)

  5. Hummers are prevalent here and we enjoy them, but no longer put feeders out because of my killer cat. We do, however, plant some of their favorite flowers!

    I am a bird person too. Should we form a support group??


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