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.
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.
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.