Monday, 23 July 2012


Hummingbird by ngawangchodron
Hummingbird, a photo by ngawangchodron on Flickr.
"Hummingbirds" is a misnomer. The Anna's Hummingbirds that cluster in the ancient branches of one of the apple trees at this summer's house-sit don't hum, they whir, like something between a very small engine and a very large insect.

They also chirrup as they zoom high into the air, usually in pairs.

For days, I've been wondering what the clicking sound has been in the backyard, the sound of a distant old-fashioned typewriter. Last night, I was down by the compost, frantically harvesting the last of the raspberries which will vanish with July. I heard that surprisingly deep thrum, and looked up as a hummingbird whizzed past my left ear in a streak of green. It hung above my head, sliding sideways every few seconds as if it were a bead on an invisible abacus.

I've watched them through windows for many years here in Victoria, yet this was the first time that I realized: hummingbirds click.


SOL's view said...

Lovely! There are no hummingbirds near me. I'd love to see them.

Rob said...

I had no idea you got hummingbirds in Canada. I'm jealous.