We still have a good crowd of hummers but they are starting to thin out. The numbers will dwindle as they take their leave and head south. I wonder if the warming will slow their departure dates? We keep no real records so all we will ever have for an answer will be informed by our fading recollections. It’s been a good year for hummers after what seemed to be a slow start. We were making two gallons of nectar for the feeders every day for a stretch, and often had to make more to refill a hard used station. They had a favorite feeder.
I saw this morning that Anne Laurie, in her regular Thursday Garden Chat, featured a couple of photos that a regular commenter had taken of a praying mantis. I put up a picture of my own that I had taken of a large mantis face to face with a hummingbird.
I had another series I was meaning to put up of a different mantis, taken later on the same nectar feeder. This guy was a bit smaller than the green one in the other pictures but he was actively stalking the hummers. He watched them as they flitted about. Usually they avoided landing near him, and I think he was a bit frustrated. Finally a bird landed pretty close-he turned towards it, then lunged to grab it with both front legs (arms?). It was just too far a reach, the bird flew and the mantis was left sprawled out and empty handed. He soon flew off into a nearby bush where I lost track of him. (All the “he” pronouns are the generic “it”. I have no clue whether this is a male or a female.)
000ooOOO000OOO! Cue the Twilight Zone theme. In her last post TaMara pictured a praying mantis. I go out to take a few hummer pics and…
I thought the situation interesting and picture worthy. I assumed the mantis was waiting for a wasp or a butterfly, I saw it make a grab at a big red wasp while I watched this morning. Then I looked at this link sent to me in a Flickr comment. Egad.
I looked out the kitchen window this morning as I brewed coffee and watched the hummers flit about the feeder. It gradually dawned on me that I really needed to take a picture or two.
[Edit to add]: Holy Cow! Since I posted this picture in my Flickr stream, it has been viewed over 46,000 times! And counting!