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Hummingbird Central

Hummingbirds mob the perches at a big feeder at the Hummingbird House

OK, I admit that hummingbirds aren't part of the functional systems at Hummingbird Hill, although the idea of thousands of hummingbirds in frenzied electrical generation has a certain panache -- far more than the poor old hamster on its treadmill.

But they are part of the esthetic systems, as on a good day there may be hundreds of birds quarreling with each other for a perch at one of the Weingartens' several big feeders, which accommodate up to eight hummers at a time.

You can get right next to the feeder, stand or sit quite still, and find yourself eye to eye with a palmful of energy, who is far more interested in who else is on the perches than it is of you.

The Weingartens have become well-acquainted with mating rituals and chatter.

A number of times during house construction, hummers got trapped inside. Larry captured them in various ways and took them in hand, which they meekly submitted to until he restored them to freedom again. All told, 30 birds got escorted back outside, some after a little sugar water rehab.

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