A Charm of Hummingbirds
Hey, it’s better than a murder of crows.
WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED BY PETER MOORE
WHAT’S THE BUZZ? A charm of hummingbirds, of course. That’s what you call hummers when they gather in groups. And the more of those charms, the better. These jewel-like birds are pollinators, they keep the chickadees in line, and they beat their wings 53 times per second, on average.
Plus they’re so damn cute.
If Leo Tolstoy had written 53 words per second, he would have completed War and Peace in a little over three hours. Maybe if I drank hummingbird nectar (4:1 water to sugar ratio) my jokes-per-minute would improve?
Not so sure it would help my drawings, however. And I’ve never seen any good illustrations by hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds do excel at many other things, including:
Aerial battles amongst themselves. We have two hummingbird feeders with a total of ten ports, plus five hummingbird-friendly hyssop plants, each with perhaps 200 blossoms. And yet, our hummers fight one another for territory as if this were the Battle of Britain, with the fate of western civilization at stake.
And maybe it is!
When they’re not messing with each other, they’re messing with bigger birds. Challenging part, if you’re a hummer: They’re all bigger birds. You have to bring the attitude.
After all of these internecine battles, and dangerous inter-species bullying, hummingbirds all fly to Mexico (or other warm places) in mid September, fueled mostly by sugar water. Time to convert from fossil fuels to Domino.
Why do hummingbirds hum? When my son was six, a medical doctor posed that riddle to him. Our toddler was the first ever to deliver the correct (joke) answer: “Because they don’t know the words.” We knew he was destined for great things.
Bon voyage, little ones! See you next April!
Everybody knows somebody who loves hummingbirds. Airmail this to them!