Monday, September 21, 2009


I saw a hummingbird catch a flying insect today. I think it was a male Asian Woolly Aphid (females don't fly.), but I’m not certain. They look like bits of lint floating through the air rather than flying insects. (See the picture.) It’s because they are so tiny all you see is the light hitting gossamer wings.

That hummingbirds eat enough insects to make up 40 percent of their diet, I already knew. Every creature needs protein, especially those with hearts that beat a thousand times a minute. But I never seen a humming bird in its active role as a predator.

One of the Ruby-throated hummingbirds was hovering at our feeder, sipping the sugar water, when the tiny insect leisurely floated by. The bird rose and hovered, watched the whitefly a moment as it moved away, then zipped over and snatched it from the air.

As Yogi Berra is supposed to have said, “You can observe a lot by just watching.”

No comments:

Post a Comment