Feed them and they will come

The hummingbird feeder on the tiny veranda in front of our house was empty when Jack and I sat down to chat.

A solitary Rufous-tailed Hummingbird perched on the clothesline nearby. It flew in, chirping loudly, and hovered near the feeder several times, as if to show us that it needed filling. “I know,” I said, “don’t worry, we’ll fill it up!”

But the Hummingbird continued to chirp, flying back and forth between the feeder and the line. We had to laugh. “He’s telling you something,” I said. The little guy kept up the chirping for over ten minutes, until Jack took the feeder down for refilling.

“He thinks he’s the boss of me,” said Jack.

“Well, isn’t he?” I asked.

We moved into our house in Puriscal two years ago, and began planting bushes to attract the birds and butterflies. Jack installed two Hummingbird feeders, and two feeding platforms, at the front of the house, and outside the kitchen window in the back. He keeps them supplied with plantains and papaya in additions to crusts of bread and leftover pancakes.

Blue-crowned Motmot

One of the loveliest things about living here, in rural Costa Rica, is the plethora of brightly colored feathered creatures. Last year, we hosted a small feeding group of Baltimore Orioles, Cherrie’s and Blue-grey Tanagers, and Yellow-bellied Kiskadees. Each sighting was an event.

Firey-Billed Aracari pair

This year, the plantings and feedings have reaped more rewards. We now have Rufous-capped Warblers, Rufous-collared Sparrows, pairs of Blue-crowned Motmots, and Hoffmann’s Woodpeckers.  And the most gorgeous pair of Fiery-billed Aracari, members of the Toucan family, arrived this week. We hope they’ll come back soon.

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About Myra

I'm retired in Costa Rica, having lived in Philly, State College, Salem Mass, and Kawagoe Japan. You might call me a career gypsy, but my last and best job was teaching English to some of the best and brightest kids in Philly. I'm new to blogging and websites, and will probably make all the mistakes there are, but now I'm sharing my writing. I moved to Costa Rica in June of 2009 with my husband Jack, my dog Buddha, and Jack's two cats, Hobbes and Noir.
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