"Hummers" and "Rice Rockets"

Every year, around mid-August, I walk out into the garage and dig around for a small object that brings me hours of relaxation.  Somewhere behind the bird seed, next to the car wash stuff it sits waiting for this day to arrive.   I grab it and its two identical friends and head into the house.  Taking a measuring cup, I mix three parts water to one part sugar and begin to fill each one of them up with the irresistable atractant.  My Humingbird feeders are a very simple design with a bug moat and 6 small feeder ports drilled into a red snap-on lid.  I hang them in succession along the fence outside of the kitchen window so that every morning I have chance at having my moring coffee with them.   You can almost set your watch by their arrival each year to our back yard.  When they come, you  most certainly know that flights of early Teal are arriving in coastal rice fields as well. The annual migration of North American birds, in general, lines up from small to large.  With the arrival of my aerobatic friends, I know that it will soon be time to go afield to see the first waterfowl to arrive on the scence -Teal ducks or "rice rockets" as hunters call them here.  This honor bestowed on them because they love the rice fields to feed and frolic in as they make their way south.  While scouting our duck leases this past weekend, we saw dozens of them in tight formation buzzing over uncut rice looking for a place to land.  Although out of their winter plumage, their flights are as beautiful and exilerationg as watching an air show with the Navy's Blue Angels as the main event. When I got home tonight, I looked out the window and there was our first visitor.  A beautiful male ruby-throated humming bird perched on a feeder, nourishing itself for its annual pilgrimage to the southern tropics.  Now, its time to go out in the garage and dig around for those small decoys in the bag somewhere in the back.  Their time will soon be here.  Note: Learn more about Texas Hummingbirds here!


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