Speedy Flight: Hummingbird Days

The eensy garden stars get the fast-wing love, in Santa Cruz.

MULTUM IN PARVO: Animal lovers often hear the Latin phrase "multum in parvo" when it comes to pups such as the pug and the French bulldog. It means "much in little," loosely, and anyone who has ever met a pug understands that this is a completely apt description. But we'd also apply multum in parvo to particular birds, too, specifically the hummingbird. If you've spent five minutes watching a hummingbird feed, fly, and defend his nectar, you know there is a lot of bird in that wee winged package. Thus it doesn't surprise that hummingbirds get a lot of attention from we humans when it comes to their corner of our gardens. We fuss over feeders, sometimes hanging multiple bottles, so all of the hummingbirds that swing by are covered (they're famously territorial creatures, as you surely know). But the thumb-sized celebrities also show up in our paintings, our sweatshirt fronts, our greeting cards, and, yes, even our nature-sweet outdoor celebrations. There's one ahead devoted solely to hummingbirds, in Santa Cruz, on Saturday, March 1 and Sunday, March 2.

FLYING MARVELS APLENTY: The two-day gathering will indeed look up, for hummingbirds, which are attracted to the "nectar-rich blossoms" at the UCSC Arboretum. Tours and slide shows and kidly crafts are on the docket, too, should you need a break from watching the h-bird action. Two questions, though: Once you start watching hummingbirds at a feeder, do you find it a little hard to pull away? There is drama and vigor and beauty and more drama. And two? Do you think hummingbirds mind being called h-birds? We're not trying to be hip, and they definitely do not need rebranding, but we think it is a rather zip-fast little nickname for a zip-fast little creature. Don't be sore at us, hummingbirds; we know you're very multum in parvo, and we'd never cross you on any topic. We're just here to enjoy, admire, and refill your feeder every week or two.

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