Kathy - greenKate Wyland


hummer flyingIn Native American lore hummingbirds are the symbol for joy and the good things in life. However, for me, they seem to be a symbol of change. I never was particularly aware of them while I was busy raising kids and working. They didn’t become part of my life until I semi-retired and we moved to a small acreage horse property – a big change for us. To go from the house down to the barn, we had to walk through some large Grevelia bushes covered with small red flowers. And every time we passed through, the hummingbirds would buzz and zip by us, upset about being disturbed. One of the fun things about our new house that I wish I paid more attention to. A few years later we re-landscaped, the bushes were torn out and we never saw our humming friends any more.

When we sold that place and moved to a new one, we encountered these joyful characters again. They loved the pink and red flowers on the huge hedge that lined our back fence. To keep them around we hung a feeder outside our bedroom window and each morning we’d drink our coffee and watch them zip-zip. They proved delightful mood lighteners in time when we needed it badly.

This was when we discovered how much personality they could have. Apparently they could see us inside and if the feeder was empty they’d buzz the window and demand we refill it. In the same time period, we used to occasionally have Sunday brunch at a funky little restaurant that had a patio bordered by a large garden the hummingbirds loved. We had great fun watching their antics each time we went there. One day we observed one particular male as he zipped around while we waited for our meal. Then the food came and we began to eat. All of a sudden the little guy flew up and hovered between us, chittering away. We were supposed to be watching him!

I love the way hummingbirds seem to be actually interested in people. Other wild birds will come around looking for something to eat, but hummers want to interact. They come up and look you over and even cuss you out if you’re in the wrong place. We spent a week at a Wyoming dude ranch one year and saw several varieties there. One of the regular guests who came there every year always put out feeders and nectar during her stay. Our cabin was near hers and one day while I was sitting on the porch this large, noisy hummer suddenly flew up and hovered in front of me for a long moment. Then he went to my right side and hovered there, went back in front to look me over some more, then flew to my left side to study me. Finally he came in front again and zipped away. I suspect he was looking for his friend and was disappointed that I wasn’t her. He had the loudest “hum” I’ve ever heard, sounded like a mini-buzz saw. Impressed me so much I included him in my book Wyoming Escape. And that trip caused me to change the book I was writing and do Escape instead, which became my first published book.

hummer feedingThis summer we ended up buying the house we’d been renting. As one of the changes we made, we put up a patio cover. Now most mornings I have my coffee out there and watch hummers visit our feeder. We started with just two, one of which was a female. She’d feed for quite a long time, then I’d hear lots of chittering after she flew off. I suspect she was feeding babies. Then I started seeing more hummers flitting around, some quite small. Those young ones are quite grown up at this point and the little male is having a harder time protecting “his” feeder. Lots of chases and chirping. He was even squabbling with a small bird one day. No fear he.

I love how hummingbirds remind you take joy in life. That things aren’t really that serious.

How about you? Any birds or animals speak to you?


Forewarning Cover

Healing is her life. Will it be her death?


Wyoming Cover - 4x6 - #2.

Wyoming Escape
Two dead bodies. One dirty cop.
Is she next?


Cover - Images - 2.

 Images – A Love Story
She’s learned to hide from life.
Should she hide from him?


Connect with Kate Wyland:
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photo credit: <a href=””>Elizabeth Haslam</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>cc</a&gt;

16 thoughts on “Hummingbirds

  1. Great post, Kate! Hummingbirds are quite something. A friend has a cottage on Lake Michigan and has feeders out, and the hummingbirds buzz the windows if the food gets low and definitely protect/guard the feeder from others. I love the story about the one that checked you out from every angle–and that you put it in your first book. 🙂


    1. It amazes me how cheeky and demanding they can be. The gardener moved the feeder one day to do some work and both he and I heard about it! The hummer wanted it back where it was supposed to be.


  2. I love birds, especially humming birds. I wrote a short story about the Trumpet Vine, which they love, but I don’t know what I did with it. Humming birds love the orange blossoms of the trumpet vine. Thanks for the pleasant thoughts. Cherl’ey


  3. In Mexico we had a huge hibiscus tree in our courtyard. We sat every day and watched them come and go. When we got back to the states, Ralph put a feeder up at our camper on the lake and one up at home. We feed several types of birds and squirrels at the lake and everyone who visits loves sitting on the deck, watching the birds and the lake. We have a lot of hummingbirds there and enjoy them very much. We have a few at home, but not so many as at the lake. They are very interesting to watch. Great post, Kate. I’ve reblogged it to my blog where my readers can enjoy it too.


    1. Thanks for the re-blog. I love hibiscus. We’ve pulled out most of the overgrown plants and are going to re-do the backyard. Have to see if hibiscus could thrive in our area. Watching the birds and lake sounds delightful.


  4. I could just see those wonderful creatures flitting around. They are quite enjoyable. I don’t have any at my house, but up the ways a bit is a ‘sanctuary’ for hummers that I visit often. They sometimes will stay still while I photograph them. Doris


  5. I’ve never had a chance to see humming birds ‘in the wild’, i.e. as in around people’s houses – Kate. I’ve only seen them in aviary situations for general public viewing in public tourist parks etc. They sound very entertaining and a wee bit cheeky!


  6. Growing up in San Bernardino, California, I remember we had hummingbirds buzzing the flowers in the front yard. Loved watching them hover, their wings beating too quick to actually see. Love that they enjoy interacting with humans. Many of the other birds only interact when they dive-bomb me, like the days when I’d head from the parking lot to the main entrance to the Wilmington Public Library.


    1. Yeah, we’ve had to put up with dive-bombing blackbirds too, and one summer a pair of blue jays took a dislike to our cat (who totally ignores birds) and kept diving at her and even came up on the porch to yell at her when she was inside the house.


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