Fairies in our nets

A male Calliope Hummingbird

A male Calliope Hummingbird.

Today we caught fairies in our nets– Calliope and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds. The male Calliopes have beautiful throats, an iridescent rosy or purple color, depending on the light. Sometimes, once I gently untangle them from the mist net, they’ll sit in my hand, miniscule feet tucked up into their chests, resting. Dark limitless eyes looking all around, diminutive breast heaving as if it had just run a marathon, their colors changing in the light– only an illusion, a change of perspective. After breath-holding seconds, when time seems to stand still, their wings begin their blurred-motion movement and they buzz out of my hand and back into their world.

There’s always a moment when I wish I could keep this tiny bird forever, but every fairy has to be free. How else do they keep their magic?

male caha in hand_618x379

The same male Calliope hummingbird, moments before he flew away out of my hand.

3 thoughts on “Fairies in our nets

    • Ha, yeah, the hummingbird’s body was turned, so this is a shot from the front. Don’t worry, the rest of his body IS there, I promise! About a second after I snapped this picture he flew away, safe and sound.

      We do band and release most of the birds we catch, but not hummingbirds because their legs are so tiny and we don’t have bands small enough! When we do catch them we just let them go right away.

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