Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds
Photos: Inge Curtis

Garden residents in eastern states from April to September they fascinate us, beating wings to a blur as they hover, even trusting us at arm’s reach before flying off, bright as a jewel, straight as a beeline. The only common summer visitor is the Ruby-throated hummer coming to flowerbeds to feed on nectar (love crimson bee-balm), snatch at insects and guzzle at our sugar water feeders.

Inge caught right-hand image of a White-necked Jacobin hummer in Mexico. A larger species of the tropics, it was given a scientific name by a Frenchman called Napoleon (not the Bonaparte) and a common name after the Jacobins for a resemblance I find hard to understand. Members of the Jacobin Club led by Robespierre dressed to distinguish themselves from aristocrats in fancy knee breeches by wearing a red cap and long trousers (sans coulottes).