Sunday, January 16, 2011

Birthday Bird Bath

We had our friend Dr Todd come over today to watch NFC Football (Bears surprisingly beat the Seahawks) and prior to his arrival, I turned on the little water fountain in the front courtyard.  It's one of those made-in-China plastic framed fountains with a cheesy $5 electric pump that cost around $20 to manufacture, but the big box hardware stores mark up to $100, not a fancy smanshy local artisan crafted fountain - which we've looked at that cost from $500 to thousands of dollars.  But I digress...  In low humidity Arizona, the water in the fountain tends to evaporate every 3 or 4 days, so we don't leave it on all the time.  In addition, some of the more devious neighborhood feral cats have developed a proclivity for leaping from the courtyard wall about 5 feet away, to get ON TOP of the fountain for a drink - and in the process toppling it, and leaving 3 or 4 large parallel claw marks across the spherical surface as they attempt to pounce; another reason to trap and relocate the critters.   So the fountain is more decorative than it is functional, and rarely filled and used.

With this in mind, I was VERY surprised when I looked out the window this morning, and saw a female black chinned hummingbird bathing in the running fountain.  She flew back and forth, from various foliage in the front yard to preen, and then back to the fountain, immersing herself, repeatedly.  At first I thought she was just drinking - as I have witnessed hummingbirds in the Desert Botanical garden do - but the more I watched, the more obvious it became she was bathing on top of a slippery wet sphere.

Keep your eyes open, and you see something new every day.  =)

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