I’d like you to meet my new responsibility, Darren– as in Darren Sproles, the short and shifty RB for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Darren had already grown into his name by the time it was discovered he was a she.
I think she’s a Rofous hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus), and I wonder if she’s pregnant. She looks pretty trim in her photos, but she’s developed quite the paunch over the last week, since I started feeding her.
Darren’s first batch of homemade nectar was made with some “raw” sugar I’d found stashed in the cupboard. I bring her feeder in each evening so as not to attract bears–it is spring and they’re hungry, too. The nectar is kept fresh in the fridge overnight.
I snapped this shot tonight with my crappy phone camera.
I started reading about hummingbirds and discovered they must only be fed white table sugar. “Raw” sugar in the stores is almost always Turbinado, which is actually a refined sugar with a high iron content. Iron can poison a hummingbird. Poor Darren!
This news had me worried, so I took off to town to get Darren some white sugar, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy it. A whole kilo bag of white sugar? I’m not sure I’ve ever bought a bag of white sugar before, and I just couldn’t do it.
“What to do? What to do?” I pondered.
I headed to the cafe in the mall and bought myself a cappuccino. I then pretended I was adding sugar to it, but instead I stuffed a whack of sugar packages into my bag.
Back at the cabin, I discovered a whack wasn’t much. In the end, I only had enough for a three-day batch. Damn!
My trips to town are few and far between. More than once, I’ve gone eight days without seeing another human. Here I was making two trips only three days apart, all for Darren.
And so today, I gave in and bought that kilogram of white powder. I was able to fill her feeder to right to the rim this time for casual sipping.
I’m becoming quite fond of that little hummingbird. I worry though, I read hummingbirds live an average of five years, and they have excellent memories; meaning she’ll be back. I’m leaving in a few weeks.
The best I could I do was write her name and the nectar recipe on the bag of sugar. I’ll leave it, along with her homemade feeder, for the next tenant.