The weather is hot and dry, the shrubs are thirsty and calling for water so I watered each one individually with my garden hose. A Rufous hummingbird suddenly appeared near the water spray so I opened the hose nozzle wider to allow her to enjoy the fine spray. She faced the spray straight on with her little breast taking the force of the spray. It was evident that she throughly enjoyed the coolness of the water as it fell on her feathers. She would then fly away to a nearby shrub branch to clean herself and flutter her wings at probably 50 per second. She continued to fly into the spray three more times and always returning to the same branch before she felt satisfied with her morning hygiene and then flew off to another daily activity. These little birds love the bright red crocosmia flowers that grow in our garden and offer healthy nutrients since we don’t have bird feeders due to our cat. They become very aggressive toward other approaching hummingbirds that are interested in obtaining the nutrients from the flowers. It turns out to be an interesting battle between the two small birds where one eventually wins and returns to gathering the pollen.
The Rufous hummingbirds arrive in the northwest in late February to spend the summer months in our cooler climate and will soon migrate in August to South America for the winter months.