The Lord of the Hummingbirds

16 julio 2007

Placed in Southern Arizona, Jesse Hendrix's house is located on the migration path of hummingbirds in their way to the North. Every spring, about 9.000 of these birds make a stop in his home during their annual 2,600-mile migration from southern Mexico to Southcentral Alaska. For Jesse Hendrix, it all started when he and his daughter saw a hummingbird in his yard almost 20 years ago. Soon he had to buy more feeders, which drew in more birds. Now, he goes through 1,500 pounds of sugar a year to keep up with the demand of these hungry little birds.

"The more hummingbirds came by, the more feeders I put out," Hendrix says. "The more feeders I put out, the more hummingbirds came by." In the busy season, the 81-year-old retired schoolteacher has at least 150 feeders around his house every day.

Hendrix has opened his home to the scientific community, as well as to anyone interested in birding. The path to his house is well-known to People Magazine, PBS, the Smithsonian, the British Broadcasting Co. and several universities. "Ornithologists come out and band hummingbirds," Hendrix said. "It helps scientists answer questions such as how do the birds know to come here, the general condition of the birds, their patterns and so on."

In the United States, many people like to put hummingbird feeders in their houses. Hummingbirds take synthetic nectar from these artificial feeders, which allow people to observe and enjoy their flight up-close. After watching Youtube videos uploaded by hummingbird lovers, it is easier to apreciate this spectacle between reality and dreams.

More info and sources: 1, 2, 3, 4 / Direct link to Youtube