On Hummingbirds

To the feeder in my backyard every June you faithfully return,
As you sit and feed, you from my kitchen window I get to watch,
Frequent trips you must make to furnish all the energy you burn,
Many sips of sugar water being required to keep your flying top-notch.
I am struck by your coat of dark fluorescent green,
And you males proudly sport a throat of brilliant ruby red,
You chase away other hummers, once making me think you mean,
But, it must be to court or for sport; otherwise by now one of you would surely be dead.
Some have described you as being like oversized bumblebees,
But that to you does a very great disservice,
Your speed and daring would bring any bee to its knees,
Calling you a bumblebee! To your flying skills what an injustice!
Like tiny World War I flying aces engaged in an aerial dogfight,
You zip through the sky first executing an acrobatic turn, now a roll,
Flying so fast my eye cannot keep up, try as I might,
Inches apart, out of sight you dart, always maintaining control.
By summer's end, just about time for you to migrate back south,
You've grown accustomed to me, finally letting me draw close,
Your small size, pretty colors, flying ability, all leave no doubt,
You are the birds that I enjoy feeding and watching the most.
As I now sit nearby, you fill the air with many a click and a cluck,
No song do you sing, but far from silent you be.
Having you grace my yard all summer has been a joy to me,
All this entertainment in exchange for a little sugar..Such good luck!

Harry Edward Gilleland      08.31.01    printer friendly