Monday, October 12, 2009


On Sept. 29, hummingbirds were battling over the feeder on our back deck. They would come face to face, rise 20 or 30 feet in the air, while bumping each other. Though it wasn’t obvious to me how a winner was decided, one of the birds would fly away and the other would claim the feeder – only to be challenged by a fresh adversary. It went on for hours.

The next morning, Sept. 30, there was not a hummingbird in sight and I have not seen one at the feeder since. I knew it was migration season and the tiny birds would soon be heading to the Gulf of Mexico for a nonstop flight to their winter home in South America, but I had no idea that birds traveling alone were on such a standard schedule. Did anyone else notice such an abrupt departure?

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