Sunday, August 12, 2012

Swing Low, Sweet Hummingbird

Part of my job as the Guide to Birding / Wild Birds is to review products such as field guides, bird feeders and unique backyard birding items, and a few weeks ago I reviewed one of the most unique I've seen yet - the Copper Hummingbird Swing from Songbird Essentials. It is deceptively simple but quite attractive, and after I'd finished examining it I put it out on our deck adjacent to the trio of hummingbird feeders I have in use this summer. For a while it swung empty, but soon the birds discovered how useful it could be, and since then it's been a regular perch. It is especially popular with the territorial rufous hummingbird that insists on guarding "his" feeders, and each day I get spectacular views as he perches, swings, preens, and chitters at all the feathered passersby.

I'll admit, at first I thought the swing might be no better than a gimmick, but I've been proven wrong dozens of times now and I love the unbeatable views I have gotten of the several hummingbirds that have used the swing. While the rufous is dominant in the backyard, the black-chinned hummingbirds have also taken a swing or two, and more than one has peered curiously up at the glass bead that adorns the swing as they settle on the perch. If you want great views of hummingbirds, get into the swing of things!

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