Hummingbirds Explained

She: “I don’t get it.”

He: “Well, that makes me happy.”

She: “What? Why?

He: “It means that your immune system’s working a lot better than mine is these days. Trust me, what I’ve got, you don’t want.”

She: “But you keep giving your germs to me anyway. Thanks ever so much. What I’m not getting, however, is these hummingbirds. I put out plenty of food for all of them, and they squabble over the feeder like it was the last one on Earth. They even buzz me if I get close to it. Why?”

He: “Maybe they’ve read their job descriptions.”

She: “Job descriptions?”

He: “Provided by the venerable Roger Tory Peterson himself. Hummingbirds. Family Trochilidae. The smallest birds. Iridescent, with needle-like bills for sipping nectar. Hover when feeding. Can fly backwards. Pugnacious.

She: “But they’re so tiny. What do they have to be pugnacious with?

He: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, to coin a cliché. Besides.”

She: “Besides what?”

He: “What, pray tell, is in those feeders?”

She: “Sugar water.”

He: “I see. The ornithological equivalent of chocolate frosted sugar bombs. Wasn’t it you who was telling me the story of the kid who showed up in class every day with a 64-ounce soda in his hand?”

She: “Yes. The one I had to keep prying off the ceiling.”

He: “Right. Because he’d OD’d on sugar. And you’re feeding this stuff to these birds, every day, all day long?

She: “And you’re going to teach them to eat granola instead?”

He: “Um, no …”

  – O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2010 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.


  1. Well, they didn’t care for the fortified Hummingbird Nectar the store sold me. Apparently vitamins and minerals don’t taste as good as sugar water.

  2. Hummers eat insects for protein. If you want to fortify their nectar, just add about 100 fruit flies to the feeder every day.

    • Sorry, Karen, but Mickey D’s doesn’t do health food, and we don’t do fruit flies. The birds can buzz off some of their sugar high catching their own.

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