Recently the Rufous - breasted Hermit (Glaucis hirsutus) joined the elite club, the club that is attracted by the hummingbird feeders.
The Rufous - breasted Hermit was one of the hummingbirds that first refused to sip from the feeder. For years I've always seen it near blossoming flowers, especially palulu plants, or I've seen it hawking for insects.
What I like about this hermit is that it has a significant trademark: its tail will automatically move up and down when its resting on a branch. Almost like the little fellow is cooling down via its tail feathers.
The Rufous - breasted Hermit was also difficult to photograph: fast, restless and agile .... until now. On July the second 2014, I was minding my own business doing some paperwork in the lodge. As the lodge is an open space there are some feeders hanging everywhere. Also near the desk, where out of nowhere the Rufous-breasted Hermit appeared. Shocked, disorientated and bewildered are the right words to describe how the hummingbird looked like at that moment. It wasn't sipping the sugar water just like the others, no ... instead it was drinking like crazy. It looked like it was starving and had no energy left in its tiny body.
At first I didn't understand the situation at all, but after doing some research it became clear why it behaved like that. It appears that hummingbirds use a lot of energy, even during the night when resting. When day breaks they are starving and need to energize, explaining why I see the hummingbirds a lot during the mornings and late afternoons near the feeders.
The reason why the Rufous - breasted Hermit looked so bewildered, was that the night before we experienced heavy rainfall with strong wind. It was possible that the Rufous-breasted Hermit had a rough difficult night, forcing him to use his reserve during the night. This explains why he was drinking the sugar water like his life depended on it.
The good news however is that the Rufous-breasted Hermit was so grateful that since that day it also comes by regularly to the feeders.