Hummingbird Mistakes Scarlet Yarn for a Flower
On a recent trip to a favorite canyon in quest of hummingbirds, I discovered that someone had been picnicing there and had tied bits of scarlet yarn as danger signals on the poison oak bushes in the vicinity. I noted a female hummingbird, apparently the Black-chinned, repeatedly trying to extract honey from these bits of yarn. This was new to me, and at first I thought she might be hunting for building material. On close observation, however, I concluded that the bright color fooled the bird, and that she expected to find some new kind of nectar.
W. Lee Chambers
Eagle Rock, California