Rufous Hummingbird, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada by Barbara Levy

Picture Story

As someone who loves to find the poetic in the everyday, I was thrilled to come upon a delightful scene at our friend’s farm one morning in July, which I called, "Romeo and Juliet in the Sweet Pea Garden"—Romeo Montague was played by the male Rufous hummingbird you see hovering in my photo and Juliet Capulet was played by a female Anna's hummingbird, who was perched, looking longingly up at her Romeo—or so I imagined as I stood and watched this “romantic" scene unfolding.

My photographer brother soon shook me out of my reverie when he pronounced that these two sweet hummingbirds were actually rivals and “Juliet” (who stays with us year round) was probably looking up anxiously to make sure “Romeo” (who was visiting for the summer) wasn't going to attack her as he was exhibiting some very real threat postures—flaring his tail, raising his wings and pointing his bill at "the intruder" like a dagger. So much for my anthropomorphizing my wildlife subjects again.

Well, luckily, my story has a happy ending as both of these hummers got their fair share of nectar while I was bedazzled by their beauty!

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