Monday, July 19, 2010


Now I'm not one for "birdwatching", and I never really have been. After all... I am only 21 years old. I'm pretty sure you have to be at least 60 to qualify for that hobby. That was before I met... Striker. Now, when you hear of a name such as "Striker", you probably visualize a hawk, an eagle, or another bird of prey. I don't blame you! I would as well. However, to be 100% truthful, if you visualized one of those birds, you were dead wrong. I am speaking of Striker-the hummingbird.

At this point you are probably thinking... "Okayyyyy... Striker is one of those little cutesy birds... like the one from Pocahontas?! ...Flit?!" Yes. Indeed. Striker, is one of those cutesy little birds... with one baaaaad attitude.

His nasty attitude started when my parents bought a new, nice hummingbird feeder with little flowers around the base where the birds could sip delicious sugar water whilst all the humans of the Roan Mountain house awwed and smiled adoringly at them. However, It turns out that there haven't been many hummingbirds tranquilly drinking from the feeder, enjoying the summer together peacefully. Why? Well, my dad had told stories for awhile now about one little hummingbird who seemed to "run the roost". He said that every time another bird would come near the feeder, the little hummingbird would attack the intruding bird and then sit on the feeder, a bush nearby, or a branch nearby guarding the feeder... ahem, excuse me... HIS feeder.

I listened to the stories, visualizing the humor, but never having solid proof. Now, my dad is not a liar, so I knew something was definitely up with the hummingbirds; I just had never seen it for myself... until Saturday. We were all eating an early dinner when we saw him. Striker was perched on top of the feeder, his red neck bright and his girth a little larger than the other hummingbirds. Like clockwork, another hummingbird tried to get a sip, but alas, this attempt was done in vain because as soon as it came close to the feeder, Striker attacked! Holy junk! Did that really happen?! Not only did it happen, it happened again and again and again!

I officially turned 60 and was sucked into the "bird watching action" (as was everyone else). We sat and watched the birds zoom back and forth fighting over the feeder, and everyone lost to Striker. Or so we thought. See, my dad also told us some stories about the cunning behavior of the hummingbirds. According to my dad, there had been incidences where one hummingbird would distract the "head honcho" hummingbird, while another hummingbird got a sip! "Yeah right!" you must be thinking. Actually... that is right!

We witnessed it! At one point, one hummingbird distracted Striker to the point where he hid in a bush while Striker dive-bombed him repetitively!!! Yes... hummingbirds dive-bomb.

mind. officially. blown.

Now you can see why I named him "Striker". Now that you know about him and his personality, you are probably wondering from where he came. We aren't really sure... nor are we sure why he decided to become "leader of the flock", but my dad has an idea. You see, a few weeks ago, we had a little problem occurring around the house. Literally, around the house- on the deck. Dad and I were out on the deck talking one day, and Dad found something on the ground kind of in the groove of the deck... a hummingbird- dead. :( It was so sad and terrible, but it was clear that he had been there for awhile. We figured that it probably ran into a window or something.

It was too late for that hummingbird, but not too late for another one. My dad found another one lying on the deck, breathing heavily, but not able to get up from his prostrate position. Dad thought he might be a goner as well, but he tried to revive him anyway. My mom retrieved a syringe-type device and filled it with sugar water. Dad sat and fed the little guy until he seemed better. Dad said he was just drinking and drinking and drinking as his little heart pounded out of his chest. Finally, the little trouper took off in a flight of victory!

So... what does the death-defying hummingbird have to do with... anything? Wellll, my dad has a theory; he believes that the little guy decided, since he was saved here and all, to claim the feeder as "his" and live here forever. After all, Striker has a big, red neck (bahaha- a "redneck" hummingbird from Tennessee! Get it?), and Dad remembers the one he saved having a red neck... hmmm...

What do you think? Was Striker the amazing hummingbird who defied death? You tell me...


  1. Mystery, adventure, intrigue...what more could one want in a post? And poor Audubon was probably mocked as a child...little did his peers know about the exciting, drama-filled lives of birds. =)

  2. This was really incredible to watch. Just so everyone knows Brittany actually took that picture of the vigilante Striker (with the red throat) sitting on that small branch.

  3. @Erica Haha! I am glad you found it to be all of those things; I tried! Hehe! I know, right? "No really, guys... it DID dive-bomb!" LOL

    @Trav It was wasn't it? :) Haha! Are you giving me photo credit? Well, so you all know, I am going to post Travis's pictures up here, too, once the internet likes me again. :-P

  4. Well, hummingbirds are notoriously territorial and having a near-death experience there might have caused him to have an epiphany. Nice pix!

  5. Hahaha! So true! Maybe Dad is right then. Thanks! I have been trying to put up more pics, but it isn't working with me. :(

  6. Great job on picking out the best of the photos. That was a tough job in itself but after looking at all of them, I think you really nailed it. Those two really show them well. Love the read throat. Can't wait for the video. :)

  7. Thanks, Mom! Truth be told, though, I wanted to put many more pics up, but the bloggy thing won't let me- it is just messed up right now or something. Hey now! You weren't supposed to give that away!!! Oh well! Now that the beans are spilled... yes, there will be an exciting video! Hehe! :D