Friendly bird surprises hummingbird enthusiast

Published 11:42 am Monday, October 19, 2009

For the last 12 years, Donnie Green and his wife, Judie, have been avid hummingbird enthusiasts.

The yard of their Calera home at Waterford Cove is a testament to their fondness for the swift little birds. Their property is covered with flowers and feeders meant to attract the tiny, sugar-loving creatures.

At any given time during the peak of hummingbird season, the Greens can find themselves being visited by two- or three-dozen hummingbirds at any one time.

However, even Green was surprised at the audacity of one little hummingbird who visited one of his feeders earlier this month.

“Never have I had any to come up to me or react like this one here did,” Green said. “I’ve had them come very close to me, maybe within a few inches from my hands. I’ve never had one that was almost playing with me a little bit, like this one.”

Green said the hummingbird was flying around his yard and was picking fights with some of the other birds, as well as flying very close to him.

“I got my wife and told her she had to come see this bird. She got a camera and came outside. This bird was so friendly. As soon as I took the feeder off the shepherd’s hook, he landed right on it. I leaned down and put my nose right on his tail and he never flinched,” Green said. “Really, I believe I could have gotten him in my hand.”

Green said hummingbird scouts arrive about the middle of March, with their numbers increasing to their peak in August. He said usually by the middle of October, they are gone.

“Right now we are at the very tail end of the hummingbird season. They start dwindling about mid-October,” Green said. “Most of the birds here will migrate to the Gulf Coast area before they fly over the gulf and into Mexico.”

Green, a sales representative, is the gardener in the family.

“Our yard is just covered up in flowers. We have a complete walk-through garden. I’m the flower person. I love to do the flowers and things in the yard,” he said. “We love to watch and feed and take care of them. We’ve gotten other people interested in them, too. It’s been a fun little hobby.”