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Flight of the Hummingbirds

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Recently, I went back to my hometown in California and was able to finally see for myself what my Mom & Dad had described over the phone. They had a crew of hummingbirds that visited them throughout the day. Actually, the technical terms for a group of hummingbirds are: a charm, a troubling, or a hover of hummingbirds. I think my favorite is “a charm” because they truly are charming. So tiny and colorful and FAST! Man, those little guys are like pro dive-bombers navigating through the air, swooping, darting and landing with exacting precision. Their favorite perch seemed to be on the very tip of a sword-like palm frond that hadn’t yet unfurled.

The thing that surprised me most were the noises they made. Their wings move so insanely fast that they make a sort of unexpected fluttery purring noise that you can sort of feel in your chest when they get close enough. They’re highly proficient pilots too, being able to stop on a dime and hover in place (maybe that’s why they’re called a “hover”?). And they chirp…teeny, tiny little chirpees. Adorable.

Anyway…they were just as mesmerizing as my parents had told me they were.

Here’s a 360° video snippet of feeding time (click and drag inside the video to look around & be sure to turn the sound up to hear them!).

And here are some still shots that give you an up close & personal look at a few of the ‘rent’s charm o’ hummingbirds. (Click on image to see a bigger slideshow)

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