Dec 07

The Hummer in Winter

Austin doesn’t do winter well. A blue norther whipped through Austin this weekend; we are faced with our first serious freeze of the winter. My tender plants are protected in a little plastic tent that I fashioned. But, the rufous hummingbird that frequents my yard has no such protection. He is at the mercy of the weather. But, there are a few things we can do with our feeders to help.

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Dec 02

Rufous Returns

The bird weighs less than a grape, has a brain smaller than a pea, and flies thousands of miles each year between the place it nests and where it chooses to winter. The bird has returned to winter in my yard on Shoal Creek, precisely where it stayed last year. I know about bird migration, and I am aware of the staggering distances they are capable of traveling. But how do we explain one of the smallest birds flying such long distances?

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