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Impatiently Waiting

Filled with great anticipation and glee, She hung a hummingbird feeder off the corner of their back deck.  She asked, “How long will it take the hummingbirds to find it?”

He answered.  “I don’t know.  Could be this week.  Could be next year.”

She said, “Could be today — yes?”

He said, “I wouldn’t count on that.”

She gave him a direct order.  “Get me hummingbirds!”

He said, “It doesn’t work that way dear, you have to be patient.”

She said, “I will patiently stand right here at this window until a humming bird arrives.”

He said, “I wouldn’t advise that.”  And then he opened his computer and went to work and didn’t even care that she was standing right there at that window waiting.

No hummingbirds arrived.  She was very sad.

This morning she got up and walked into the dining room.  She saw the hummingbird feeder outside the window and crossed the room to stare at it.  A hummingbird buzzed the feeder, however it did not feed.  It flew around and around the contraption, seemingly agitated, and then it left without so much as a sip.

She said, “I have hummingbirds but they don’t know how to eat from the feeder!  Get me smart hummingbirds.”

He said, “Be patient.  They will figure it out.”

She said, “Go out there and teach them how to do it right.”

He just gave her that look and went back to his spread sheets and data input.

She spent most of the day giving play-by-plays of the hummingbird’s visits to the feeder.  Right about sunset two humming birds finally figured the contraption out and had a nice supper before bed.  She is still convinced they’d have gotten it much faster if he had helped them.


    1. It evens out, Shakira. I can’t imagine you having a wife either – and it would probably confuse the heck out of the gentlemen in your life if you did.


  1. They’re lucky they have hummingbirds at all. I think I’ve only seen one in all the time we’ve been in Illinois.

    1. They sure do, Dawg. If you would starve to death if you hadn’t eaten in the past half hour, like these birds do, you’d be in a godawful hurry too.

    1. Actually, Mama Zen, these birds are rather noisy, what with their chatter and the bull-roarer courtship flights of the males.

    1. I keep telling Quilly that, Akelamalu, but she still hasn’t entered medical school.

    1. Mocha, I’m just grateful that Quilly got hummingbirds and not Hummerbirds. Those things would fly you straight to the poorhouse.

    1. Sounds like they’re doing quite well without you, Jenn. The flowers that depend on the hummers for pollination are grateful that they don’t have to put up with free-lunch competition.

    1. There have been a lot more since people started putting feeders out routinely, Silver. Right now it’s OK, but we have to be careful that we don’t set up an entitlement culture. If it gets to the point where a person can’t take a feeder away without having to face a flock of birds flashing red gorges and picket signs, there’s going to be trouble.

  2. I wonder how my cats would react to hummingbirds, I have seen them only in a zoo. What do you think if I send you my Arthur over just to check ?

    1. The poor cat would probably just get his neck twisted off trying to chase them, Gattina.

    1. Yes, but my wings don’t beat at 60 rpm. Tends to be hard on clothes and the furniture.

    1. Well, Teresa, it may be wiser not to exert yourself too much. The next hummingbird that I see that tracks blogs with his RSS feed will be the first.

  3. I got a hummingbird feeder, but I don’t have it up yet. I did see one around last year for just a few seconds — I was so surprised. Maybe with feeder, it will come back.

  4. i guess it takes a bird to teach a bird, and for all the wonderful things he may be, i don’t think he is one

    1. Polona, if a bird can’t teach a bird to do bird things, what good would I do? I mean, we don’t even talk the same language … a point that seems to have been lost on the Quillster. 😉

  5. No need for a feeder with a Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeana). It is a “Top Ten EXOTIC HUMMINGBIRD PLANT” according to

    And Q., thanks for being the SECOND commenter on my NEW blog !!

    1. Karen, that’s just perfect. A shrimp of a plant to go with a shrimp of a bird.

  6. The thing about those “contraptions” is that they are empty so often, it´s a pain to fill them….that´s why I stopped. But it is fun to watch the hummingbirds.

    1. Ah, Betty, there’s something the world needs. The Acme Self-Recharging Hummingbird Feeder! Driven by the novel industrial process, Photosynthesis! No need for dangerous boiling syrups, just set it and forget it! Only … what’s that? It’s been done?!?

  7. Well, It’s a Good Thing you didn’t want The Amoeba to “Part the Strait of Juan de Fuca”. Glad your Hummingbirds figured out the Feeder.

    1. A good thing indeed, Bill. That part would take the mother of all combs. I’m not sure I’m up to the job.

  8. My husband thought he saw a hummingbird 2 weeks ago. I’ve now wasted 2 cups of simple syrup, only to watch it get cloudy and have to start all over again. But last night a friend posted an update on Facebook that included a hummingbird sighting, so I am hopeful that this latest fresh batch will bring the hummingbirds to my feeder.

    “Get me smart hummingbirds.” LOL

  9. Ohhhhhhhh I have DUMB hummingbirds too! It always AMAZES me how long it takes them to figure out their own darn feeders! I’m like BIRDS – I did not MAKE THIS UP – these are FOR YOU!!! LOL! I’m sorry he wouldn’t teach them… I would have had you order him HERE next!

    1. Melli, go easy on the poor critters. If each one had so much as a teaspoonful of brains … there wouldn’t be any room left in the package for the rest of the bird!

  10. There are no hummingbirds in my area…but maybe a feeder would help. Enjoyed your post very much!

    1. Thanks, Mar. A lot of folk here have been dissing the intelligence of hummingbirds on this post – but they do seem to be smart enough not to attempt a crossing of the Sahara and the Mediterranean to get to a Europe with more people in it than flowers. 😉

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