I have two hummingbird feeders hanging from my second floor balcony. I love sitting out there and watching all of the birds in the nearby tree, but I especially love watching the hummingbirds.
I didn’t know, before I hung the first feeder (I started with the one on the far left), that hummingbirds are extremely territorial and downright vicious when it comes to protecting their food source.
One bird in particular laid claim to the feeder and wouldn’t let anyone else near it. He would sit on a nearby branch, chirping, and at first I thought he was singing a song of hummingbird happiness, “Look at all the food! Isn’t life grand? Hey, Other Hummingbirds, look what I found! Come join me!”
But once I Googled “hummingbird behavior” I discovered that what he’s really saying is, “This food is mine, bitches! You come near, you die!”
Whoa. Not so friendly.
So I bought another feeder and hung it at the other end of the patio, hoping that some of the other hummingbirds in the area would get a chance to eat.
I was wrong. That little bugger sits up in the tree, practically screaming, like Daffy Duck in Ali Baba’s cave, “Mine! Mine! Mine!” Any bird that dares approach gets dive bombed and chased away.
It’s funny to watch how the other birds seem to work together: “I’ll distract him, while you go get a quick sip. Then it’s your turn to have my back.” Meantime, Mr. Grabby spends his entire existence chasing and screaming, to protect an overabundance of food. He never gets a chance to relax and enjoy.
I wonder if that’s how the Universe works. It gives me all I need, and enjoys doing so, but I’m too busy stressing out and protecting what’s “Mine!” to notice. What if I’m sitting on my branch, freaking out whenever it looks like someone else is dipping into what I feel is a limited supply? After all, once in a while those feeders get empty and then they disappear for what feels like an eternity.
What if, while my feeders are gone–and it feels like the world has come to an end because my supply has disappeared–it’s just because the Big U is cleaning them and cooking up a new batch of sugar water for me?