“Of all animated beings, hummingbird is most elegant in form, most brilliant in color. The precious stones and metals to which our art lends polish are not compared to this gem of Nature, whose masterpiece little bird represents. She has loaded it with all gifts of which she has given other birds only a share... The emerald, ruby, topaz all glitter in its plumage, which is never sullied by dust of ground.”
- Comte de Buffon (18th century French naturalist)
Hummingbirds are neatest addition to a garden. Many people try to attract them with red-colored sugar water. Inevitably though trying this method to attract them will allow one highly territorial male to declare that it is HIS FEEDER, unless as a friend of mine did, you provide a whole bunch of spaced out feeders.
Myself, not ever having observed them in this common fashion just accidentally discovered them in my garden. There are all sorts of lists available that attract them. I never really paid any attention to any of this hummingbird attracting. I just planted things solely for color or time of year they bloom or because I liked look of plant.
One hot afternoon following a thunderstorm, while sitting on porch enjoying now cooler air, I spied first hummingbird in my garden. He was enjoying a veritable feast of Gardenview Scarlet Beebalm right in front of my chair. I had left front door wide open as no bugs were yet flying to let fresh breeze waft into house. Suddenly he was hovering on porch in front of door. As I watched, he darted right into front hall. Just as I was poised to rise and go shoo him out, he hummed right back across porch and dove into red hanging geraniums.
A few days later, I found his wife in same clump of Beebalm. He flew in and attacked her right inside plant. Beating her with his wings and a fair amount of squeaking and commotion came from inside highly disturbed plant. After several minutes of wildly waving bloom war, she surrendered and left plant. He pursued her right around corner of porch, across entire back yard and out into woods.
Pretty selfish of him, I thought, what an arrogant old thing. Then he swooped back into view and became a tiny bump as he took up surveillance of his flowers on a high branch of big Maple on driveway. Back she came again and went into Beebalm.
So I settled back in my chair to watch domestic dispute from a most excellent ringside position. Sure enough, what we had here was a quarrel equal to a married couple over which wallpaper should be hung in powder room. For no sooner had she settled into drinking spicy nectar than he came charging right back and beat her up again. That was last time I found her anywhere near plant in question, evidently two beatings were enough to change her tune of defiance. He wasn’t really all that bad though for a bird guy I suppose, as he did let her have all Phlox and Delphinium she wanted.