The Flight of the Hummingbirds


The hummingbird migration is winding down in our Minneapolis backyard right now, but it was in full swing just a week ago.

It was a quiet Sunday morning when I assumed my observation post on the back step. It was crisp as I sipped my coffee. Nothing. I started to wonder if I’d missed all the hummingbirds this year. I sipped more coffee and took some pictures of a molting female cardinal.

Female Cardinal

Twenty minutes later, I noticed some action a yard over in my neighbors honeysuckle bush and Mexican Sunflowers. Little hummingbirds were all over her yard.

Hummingbird and Mexican Sunflowers

It felt like there was a big LOSER sign flashing on top of my feeder. Who picks a feeder when there are tons of flowers in the neighbor’s yard to choose from? I considered relocating to be closer to the flower buffet. Then there was a buzzing by my head. A hummingbird was circling my red hoodie. He determined quickly that I was not a giant flower and moved over to my little honeysuckle bush – so modest in size compared to my neighbor’s but obviously a tasting morsel.

Hummingbird and Honeysuckle

Suddenly, my yard was vibrating with tiny wings. The territorial buggers were in full combat mode. They chased other birds, tried to psyche out squirrels and even hovered around my canine sidekick, Danny, trying to see if he was competition. I was happy to see that the plants in my yard were more appealing this year than the feeder, though that received a lot of attention too.

Hummingbird and Feeder

I watched for most of the day and was buzzed several times as they zipped past my head. They spent some time watching me too. I can hardly wait until next year when the landscaping vision enters phase two… Mexican Sunflowers, here I come.

Hummingbird on Fence

** See all my hummingbird photos on flicker.


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By Heidi Van Heel
Heidi Van Heel

Heidi Van Heel

Writer, freelancer, and believer in magic living in Minneapolis. In my free time, I love reading, exploring the great outdoors, and experimenting in the kitchen.

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