I was sitting outside in my wicker rocking chair listening to the birds singing, and noticed a hummingbird flying back and forth over the top of the lawn. I wondered what she was doing. My daughter suggested that perhaps she was looking for nest building material. Quite possible. I was fascinated watching this video of a hummingbird building a nest on Nature On PBS YouTube channel. I scoured the backyard, looking for a tiny nest, but didn’t find one.
So, I dug around in the shed and pulled out an old hummingbird feeder I had hidden away. The last time I had it out, the sugar water attracted so many bees they drained it dry in no time. I like bees, and the world needs bees to keep the cycle of life turning, but I didn’t want my dog, or me, to get stung. I hung it up again, a little further away from the sliding glass door, so now my little hummer will have nourishment after she scans my grass.
Red Mountain Library in Mesa, Arizona asked me to present an activity to their children’s after-school science club. I read QUINCY THE QUAIL SAVES A LIFE and showed a video on how hummingbirds suck the nectar from flowers. This YouTube video uploaded by UConn shows hummingbird tongues in slow motion.
Then I had the children make humming bird feeders out of empty water bottles and margarine tubs. The library supplied the paint for the feeders, and I brought the other supplies. It was a rather messy project, and I’m glad my friend came to observe, because I put her to work helping the kids with the craft. Below is a picture of what the end-product was supposed to look like. Ours didn’t fit together quite as well, but everyone had fun and had something to take home for their backyard. The instructions for this fabulous craft can be found on the Audubon Arizona site.
QUINCY THE QUAIL
In my book, QUINCY THE QUAIL SAVES A LIFE, Quincy and his family encounter a bullying hummingbird. Hummers are very territorial and will shoo birds and other hummingbirds away to protect their food sources. The story line for this book was inspired by an event that happened on my back porch. A hummingbird flew into my kitchen window and knocked himself out. I was horrified as I saw him lying on the cement. I placed him in a shoe box and fed him nectar with an eyedropper. Since he wasn’t responding, I took him to a near-by bird sanctuary. I’m sure they saved his life.
Click here for a free download of the e-book version of QUINCY THE QUAIL SAVES A LIFE. It’s available from Amazon April 17, 2020 through April 19, 2020. There are QR codes in the story so you can hear the bird calls, so it would be best to read the e-book on a computer or tablet so you can use a QR Code Reader app on your phone to scan the codes. Can you guess what life Quincy saves?
If you’d like to purchase signed copies of any of my books, you can buy them from my website for a discounted price of $10 each. This offer is good through April 19, 2020. I will refund the difference between what you paid at check out and the discounted price.