It’s a great idea – but does it scale?
“Warm-blooded flying dinosaur” is not only a time-tested concept, but one that works at a wide range of scales. This post stars the tiniest bird in our neighbourhood – but a distant relative a thousand times as big also makes an appearance.
If we expand the view beyond birds to include the smallest insects one can see clearly with the naked eye, I guess we would need two or three more zeroes to express the scale range.
But enough of arithmetic.
We leave plenty of room in our garden for Bergamot, not only because the long-lasting flowers are gorgeous, but because we can expect Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds to drop by many times a day to sip the nectar.
When there are no hummingbirds to be seen, we might spot equally beautiful, though much smaller, flying insects.
This year the Hummingbirds have become quite accustomed to our presence, and now that the fledglings are also feeding we can watch from a distance of just a couple of meters.
A clothes-line proves a perfect resting place with a great view across the gardens.
Due to the nearby marsh we see many damselflies and dragonflies in the garden, including this male Long-Tailed Skimmer.
It can be difficult to get away from the gardens at this time of year but there was a special show in the marsh one recent evening.
Scores of Northern Rough-Winged Swallows were chattering up a storm, with many swooping low over the water in pursuit of insects, then suddenly switching places with others to sit on slender reed perches while they groomed themselves.
Judging by the vivid highlights on their wings I’m thinking some of these were juveniles, said to have cinnamon streaks which the adults lack.
As the sun sank low that evening a Great Blue Heron flew by.
And as the sun rose over the garden in the morning, a hummingbird was waiting in a cherry tree.