Hummingbirds leave Martha’s Vineyard after the season

Hummingbirds beat their wings so fast, they are just a blur to the naked eye. — Photo by Brenda Watson

While sitting on our screened porch one July morning this summer, to my delight a hummingbird flew right up to our screened window and peeped in. Upon seeing me, the bird made an immediate U-turn and left the area. In 30 years, I had never before seen a hummingbird in our yard.

“I can’t believe that the bird came right up to the porch and looked in at me,” I said aloud. My husband, Sol, came to the porch to find out what I was talking about. Once he heard my story, he got into his car and went to Shirley’s Hardware and bought a couple of hummingbird feeders. He made up the mixture of sugar and water, filled the feeders, and hung them on the feeder holders.

The next morning, while sitting on the porch having tea, I saw the hummingbird fly toward one of the feeders, but again it left very quickly. This went on a couple of more times during the day.

My next challenge was to get a picture of the bird, but every time I was set to shoot, the bird moved to the other side of the feeder or flew away.

The next morning the hummingbird stayed long enough to feed for a few minutes, as long as I did not move from my seat on the porch. For several mornings and sometimes in the afternoon, the bird came to feed. Still there was no way that I could get a picture.

On one subsequent morning, not one, but three hummingbirds flew around the feeders chasing each other. One bird got its beak caught in one of our screen panels, but managed to free itself.

Sol wondered if I could take pictures from our bedroom window that overlooks the feeders. I spent hours trying to get a picture, and finally I got one. The birds got so used to seeing me in the window, that on several mornings one would come right up to the window and look right in at me, as if to say “I know you’re there.”

The hummingbirds also seemed to enjoy flying through the water from our sprinkler as it watered the flowers. One bird was almost an emerald green and the other soft brown.

Sol and I went to Cambridge for a couple of days and upon our return early last week, we learned that the birds were not returning to the feeder. Gone south for the winter, I hope. Now we can’t wait until next spring, hoping that they will return again.