One of my gift requests this year was a hummingbird feeder to convince the hummingbirds I’ve seen flying outside our windows to stop and stay awhile. A few days before our Christmas guests arrived, D and I went to our local hardware/everything store and picked out a nice multicolored balloon of glass with a tiny tube sticking out of it. I cooked up a batch of “hummingbird nectar” (one part sugar to four parts water), hung the feeder in the tree off our balcony, and sat back to wait for the hummingbirds to arrive.
I knew it would take some time because there aren’t any flowers around to give hummingbirds the cue that this is a food source, but I remained hopeful that they’d figure it out. Meanwhile, one of the local sparrows noticed the sugary drips that had hit the branches below and eventually figured out that the sweet nectar came from the feeder. Since then, he’s been spending most of his days flying around the tree and leaning in to take hits directly off the pipe. At first I was excited, hoping a hummingbird would see what the sparrow was doing and start coming by more often. But now I’m starting to feel a little like a drug dealer, enabling the little sparrow’s budding (ha!) addiction. And earlier today, the sparrow actually scared off a hummingbird that was curious about the feeder. I’m turning perfectly innocent birds into aggressive junkies!