Hummer in Blue Spruce Tree


After an intense fast moving rainstorm yesterday, I happened to look out my front window to see something I’d never before seen — a female broad-tailed hummingbird zipping among the branches of our blue spruce.

Although she stopped at the end of new spruce buds momentarily, she never stayed in any one place for very long. Between the low light, and her constant movement, the photos are not the quality I usually like to put up here. But her behavior was so unusual, I decided to go ahead and post them.

The thing is, I have no idea what she was going after. At first I thought maybe she was getting some sap from the newly opened blue spruce buds.

But when I went out to confirm my hunch after she left, there wasn’t anything there — no sap, no water droplets, no tiny insects. Just newly opened blue spruce buds.

I’ll keep watching that blue spruce and see if she comes back.

7 thoughts on “Hummer in Blue Spruce Tree

  1. I just observed the same thing in San Ramon CA, came in the house to “google” hummingbird/blue spruce to see if there may be a food I wasn’t aware of … this hummer was moving around just as you said you observed and I wondered if it was finding a food source from the new buds??

    • Hi Karen! Thanks for leaving a comment.

      So far as food source from the spruce buds: Maybe?

      Any growing tip of any plant is packed with nutrients and energy in the form of sugars or fats. But anything she was getting from the spruce buds had to be something that she didn’t have to bite or chew, because she has no teeth, but instead could lick off with her sticky tongue. I know that spruce needles have a waxy coating, which would be constitute a fat. As the buds open, the coating might become softer. Maybe she was licking the waxy coating off?

      I wish I had a better answer for you. In the meantime, keep watching and let me know if you see any likely explanations.

      Thanks,
      Amy

  2. We live in Southern Wisconsin and have observed this behavior for several years. Our birds are the ruby throated hummingbirds and the trees are Norway and Blue Spruce. We were thinking they were getting sap from the cones and new growth.

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