A Storm of Wings
While on balcony and talking on the phone this afternoon, I was surprised to see a hummingbird sitting boldly on a branch, a scant few feet out of reach. She regarded me without apparent fear, turning her head slightly this way and that, blinking, and fluffing her breast feathers. After what seemed a long time of mutual observation, I stepped away from her, and she shot off in a wild trajectory up and then back down amongst the branches.
Perhaps she thought I wouldn’t be able to track her sudden course, but I have millions of years of predatory ancestors guiding my vision, so I saw her arrive at her nest. She fed the two tiny chicks in the nest, unaware of my continued viewing.
Walking home, I saw a crow chasing an indignant seagull away. I’ve seen crows chase hawks, but never a seagull. I tend to think of gulls as being more graceful fliers, and crows as being more acrobatic, but both birds were engaging in rapid, erratic flight. After a hundred-meter chase, the crow returned to what I’m assuming must have been its mate, and probably nesting site.
Apropos wings, I’ve seen more hummingbird moths in the garden this year than I think I’ve seen in all previous years combined. And the golden male carpenter bees as well.