I'm sitting on the bench in the front garden trying to count up the hummingbirds visible from my vantage point: two on the phone line, one on the hydrangea (but then another one zips over and chases it away), two or three buzzing about in the magnolia tree, two--no, three at the feeder right in front of my face, three at the farther feeder--no, four, then five, then six, then the one with the brilliantly red throat comes along and chases the rest away.
I can see them and hear them buzzing around on the periphery all the time but I can't begin to pin down how many hummingbirds we're currently hosting. The fledglings have left the nests so they're fighting for space at the feeders, and a few seem to serve as protectors, chasing off intruders while the others drink.
And my, do they
drink! Early in the season we were filling the feeders about once a
week, but now they're empty every day. Little piggies is what they
are--little piggies with iridescent feathers and wings flapping so fast
my camera can't catch them. Sugar gets expensive, but I won't complain
about the cost of birds that bring into my life so much sweetness.