Edge of the Earth Rd. Journal
by Phil Floyd
Boys i' the hood
November 21, 1999
Responding to a birding e-mail suggesting that the hummingbirds we all see at our feeders change on a daily basis, Phil wrote:

     "I've lived here at Edge of the Earth Rd. (east of Lexington) for two years and both years have had seven hummingbirds visit the feeders I have hanging.  This last year, it may well be that five of the seven were playing a game of daily migratory tag; however, there were two who I know stayed around the whole time.  My wife and I knew both of them by sight.  One, we named Audrey, after Audrey Hepburn, in honor of the Hummingbird's long, graceful neck (I'm a sucker for a long, graceful neck).  It was with a bit of consternation after getting a very close look at Audrey that I discovered she was a fledgling male, but since the naming game is fraught with such inconsistencies, I kept the name for this most individual bird.  It did not in the least seem to dilute his ferocity of warfare at the feeder for he was, by far, the most vicious defender of the same.  He claimed all the feeders for himself, graceful neck or not!  A great warrior, my Audrey.

     "His counterpart was much smaller and we quickly named him Top Gun for his aeronautical ability and personal characteristic of hanging upside down from the feeder post while at the same time fighting off all comers.  It was quite an unusual piece of defensive maneuvering and seemed to throw off his attackers' advances.

     "These two were quite a pair.  Audrey would sit atop the feeder flower orifice and allow no approach while Top Gun played the talented gymnast, thwarting any peer advance with weaves and feints.

     "An interesting side note to this is the one occasion we watched the two tangle.  The warfare around the feeders (by the way, I added several new feeders but it did nothing to quell the competition) was extremely fierce morning and night.  On this particular occasion, Audrey and Top Gun collided loudly one afternoon right before our eyes as my wife and I sat on our porch.  Top Gun dropped to the ground as if struck by a Muhammed Ali left hook.  I rushed to him to find him knocked out cold on the ground while Audrey fluttered over him like a taunting victor.  I picked him up and my wife and I gave him a good inspection, wondering about the advisability of offering mouth-to-bill resuscitation, when he began to move a bit.  I kept him in my hand for a little longer to let him clear out the cobwebs and finally placed him upright and opened my hand.  He took off as if he had been shot from a gun and in a few minutes was back plying his aeronautic magic in the midst of the usual wild fray.

     "So, by anecdote, I must say to ----'s suggestion, you are probably right, save for two very determined and individual locals!"
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Edge of the Earth Rd. Journal
by Phil Floyd
(c) Copyrighted by Phil Floyd 2002