I took this photo of a (probably) female Black-chinned Hummingbird, Archilochus alexandri, several weeks ago. She was guarding a stand of blooming Turk’s cap, Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii, with all vigor and spunk. That’s the hummingbird way, after all: tough and territorial, they fight with one another for the pick of nectar sources, and in this particular case and as it’s so late in the season, I’m certain she was preparing for her flight south, her fueling for migration a requirement for survival.
I doubt if the British rock band, Queen, had bird migration in mind with their 1986 song, It’s a Kind of Magic, but I find the pull and drive for migration an enigma, something so astonishing that it’s hard to fathom, and something pulsing with a kind of magic.
Nevertheless, here in my oak tree, resting between sips of Turk’s cap nectar and bullies of other hummingbirds, she looks quiet and contemplative. I wonder–does she think about her journey, or is she driven purely by instinct, by forces beyond her control?
Does she plan her trip? Does she fear it?
The Turk’s cap blooms are done for the year, the hummingbird gone; I hope my garden provided what she and her kind needed. Please, may she return in spring to guard next season’s blooms.
Appreciative for the gifts a garden bestows, I’m joining today with Anna and her Wednesday Vignette. Check out her beautiful Flutter and Hum for musings of various sorts.
*The Queen video is comprised of work from visual artists worldwide, submitted to accompany the song. It’s a fun one!*