Just under feeder in Bermuda Run (August 2015) (Click on photo to enlarge.)
On Friday, December 12, 2014, I received a text from my friend, Fran. She also lives in Bermuda Run (NC) and she is the best birder I know. Her text message read, “I am talking to humming bird experts this morning about what to do about this one who is hanging out here. My yard man is going to try to help me do something to keep her food from freezing. Yesterday, before I could get new out, she was trying to drink from a frozen-solid feeder.” The photo below was attached. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
What this shows is actually a humming bird feeder with a heat lamp on it.
Two days later (Dec. 14th), I photographed this female Rufous hummer. Fran explained that the bird was sleeping in a holly bush near the heating vent for the house and then coming back to the feeder about every 45 minutes.
On Monday, December 15th, Susan Campbell, an expert and researcher on humming birds, came to band the bird … and confirm that she was a female Rufous.
They also put an orange mark on her head to indicate that she had been banded.
On Christmas Eve, I texted Fran, “What a Christmas gift she is … let us call her “Star,” like the Star of Bethlehem, okay?”
Star stayed with Fran through Christmas. Friday, December 26th at 4.45 p.m. was the last time she was seen. We believe that when the wind direction shifted from the south to the north, she flew.
Star was a very special Christmas gift for all of us who were lucky enough to see her … and for that gift, we are very grateful.
American Goldfinch / Gray Catbird
Tufted Titmouse / House Wren & Tufted Titmouse
Downy Woodpecker / Brown-Headed Nuthatch
House Finches and Goldfinches
Eastern Phoebe / Eastern Bluebird
*** Young female Northern Cardinal / Mourning Dove
Blue Jay / House Finch
House Finch / Ruby-Throated Humming Bird
Great Egret / Great Blue Heron
All of the photos above were taken in North Carolina. The two photos below were taken in New York last spring. This mother sparrow raised babies in the support post that holds up a traffic light on the corner of my street in the West Village (corner of Bleecher and Bank Streets) in Manhattan. The photos speak for themselves; click to enlarge to see babies.