New Dawg In Town – He’s Little But He Has a Big Dawg’s Heart.

hummingbird_579_600x450The pansies finally bit the dust. Like everything in Athens the pansies had a fighting spirit and lasted through the winter, and then some, but about a week ago they began to give up the ghost.

We took them down from a shepherd’s hook that’s tied to one of the posts on the deck and we replaced the pansies with a hummingbird feeder that has a bottle about the size of those old liquor bottles we used to call a fifth. Back then the bottles were all amber. This bottle is bright Bulldawg red.

So this hummingbird shows up and I did not realize, at first, that he owns the house. I quickly learned there was to be no mistake about ownership. He immediately took possession of the deck.

I’m always a little slow to catch on to the happenings around me. I thought he was an innocent little Ruby-Throated Hummingbird who was there for an occasional quaff of the sweet water I had poured in the red feeder bottle.

That was exactly why he was there but he did not come in peace. The trouble erupted in whiz-bang aerial warfare whenever another humming bird came anywhere near his air space. He has protected air space over his feeder and it is definitely a no-fly zone for other hummingbirds.

It was about this time that Katie Mae and I determined he was a Georgia Hummingdawg. He has a bright red throat and black sideburns all the way to the end of his tail. The only thing out of place is that bright iridescent green back but he can be forgiven that touch of unorthodoxy because there’s no doubt he is all Hummingdawg.

He fights like a Bulldawg. He is alert and will even give chase to errant leaves as they have begun falling. He reminds me of an excellent Georgia Bulldog defensive back.

He perches for long periods of time on the top arc of the shepherd’s hook and he is so small he looks like one of the ornamental leaves welded there. Katie Mae named him Little Russ (L.R.) in honor of Uga IX. It is a great joy to watch L.R. at war in the sky behind our house. I have not seen a single hummingbird be successful at getting a sip from that feeder since he took over and I think one of the birds who keeps trying is L.R.’s own poor wife.

It’s a bit disconcerting to think he won’t let his wife have a drink. They are supposed to double their weight before they head out over the Gulf of Mexico to go winter in Central America but maybe he has good reason.

I wish he would stay to cheer the Bulldogs on through this entire season but if he has to go I think I understand. I’m pretty sure I saw his wife walking to the Wal-Mart down the road a couple of times last winter and I’m guessing she had doubled her weight by a micro-ounce or more. If she had become to heavy to fly around the neighborhood then she most likely couldn’t make it to South America.

I think he and some of his pals like to get there and rest up for a few months so they can all be ready for Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. They are usually seen decorating the fruit-filled hat of the Samba Queen at Rio’s Carnival. He hates to miss Carnival two years in a row.

Katie Mae and I just watched L.R. run off three Tufted Titmouses (or is it Titmice?). Each of them was about five times bigger than him and a Titmouse is a small bird. l.R. couldn’t be any bigger than a small woman’s thumb.

I really wish L.R. would stay and help us pull the Dawgs through a perfect season. He could do it. He’s got homegrown Bulldog colors and he certainly fights like a Dawg.

Maybe he’ll stay. I’ve got a feeling Georgia’s football season is going to be a lot more fascinating and exciting than any Samba festival in South America.