Drunks at the Hummingbird Feeder


The one-toed method of guzzling.

I know, I know, I need to hang it out of reach.  If I do, I won’t be able to see it.  So, I refill it a lot and resign myself to supporting a parade of sugar crazed addicts lining up to guzzle the elixir. Humans aren’t the only ones hooked on sugar water.  Ants detect it instantly and send a continuous single line of workers marching militarily from the ground, up the deck, down the wire, into the feeder to load up then all the way back again to their distant ant dwelling.  Wasps crawl in and out  with almost the same regularity while assorted other bugs joyfully lick up what’s stuck on the surface. It is amazing how much insects alone can lower the feeder level.


Bellying up to the bar.

Hummingbirds, the legitimate customers, dart in to sip up nectar while hovering lightly on their blur of wings.  They share with a family or orioles who, from the way they stick together, must have hatched in the same nest.  The bright orange orioles flutter and squabble over turns at the bar. If the feeder is gone for refilling, they squawk in puzzled outrage until the source is restored.

Chipmunks quickly developed a craving for the sweet stuff, abandoning the peanut feeder and the quest for fallen birdseed in favour of slurping down the liquid bliss nearby. They do acrobatics to satisfy their sugar demons. Like all drunks, their inebriation makes them forget the urgent business of gathering food for the winter or rushing back to their young.

The chipmunks have to suck up their fill in a hurry before the cute but aggressive red squirrel drives them off so she can take their place. She laps up sweetness only until the big black squirrel arrives and grabs onto


Night raider finishing off the hard stuff.

the feeder like it’s a personal treat dispenser.  Should I forget to bring in the feeder before dark, the raccoons make it their first stop on their nightly round.  Once a raccoon has had a taste, it never forgets. And never fails to raid anything left over in the night.

So the orgy will continue as long as summer lasts. I’ll support the drunks and they’ll supply the laughs. The supermarket cashier will suspect me of addiction too from all the sugar I buy.


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