Last summer my husband and I bought two beautiful new light green painted rocking chairs for our deck. We had to assemble them, which was a monumental effort, as self-assembly projects can sometimes be. But when they were ready, we put them into place with a perfect view of our hummingbird feeder.
The first hummer to visit our backyard was a beautiful male ruby throated hummingbird. He was a lone little guy taking full advantage of all of the homemade nectar we provided. But it wasn’t too long before three females came into town and chased the poor little guy away. The three females were constantly fighting for “ownership” of the feeder. Eventually one dominant female won full rights. My husband and I would sit and watch her every sunny day. She grew used to us and didn’t mind our presence just eight feet away. She’d zip back and forth as my husband and I rocked back and forth in our new chairs.
My husband is a big guy, and unfortunately the green wooden rocking chair wasn’t as strong as we’d hoped. One afternoon he rocked back too far and “Crack!” went the rocker. He fell backwards, but was fortunately prevented from serious injury by a large potted shrub that caught him. He screamed for help, so I grabbed his arms to help hoist him back upwards. All the while our sweet lady hummingbird sat atop the nearby lilac bush, just six feet away, staring right at the upset scene. Once my husband was upright she continued to stare right at him, sitting still for what seemed like 30 seconds. Then when it was clear he was safe, she flew off satisfied that all was well.
We look forward to seeing our hummers again this year. The feeder is out patiently awaiting their return. This year we have two new much sturdier rocking chairs (pictured). Hopefully our concerned angel will be back to keep her eye on us again.
I submitted the above story to “Birds & Blooms” magazine for their Bird Stories section.