Monday, March 23, 2009

The Hummingbird Lady

clipped from
Abigail Alfano
The Hummingbird Lady

Hand Feeding Hummingbirds

hand feeding hummingbirds

On September 14, 2006 my wife Abigail decided she'd like to 'touch' one of the 20 or 30 hummingbirds that were swarming around our feeder at the peak of their migration. With patience and determination she accomplished her goal. I am her husband Sam, and I shot the photos of her hand-feeding hummingbirds in our yard here in near Franklinton, Louisiana.

On September 20thThe Era Leader newspaper published the photos on the front page. We then emailed them to a few of our friends and had no idea they would quickly be forwarded around the world. Many of our friends have called or emailed us saying they were forwarded photos of a lady feeding hummingbirds, and it was Abigail! Had I known the photos would spread like wildfire, I would have put our names on them.

From Abigail

"I am Abigail Alfano, the woman in the photos. My husband, Sam is the photographer. We live in Pine, Louisiana which is approximately 1 1/2 hours north of New Orleans.This year we had more hummingbirds in our yard than I ever recall. The feeder sits right outside of my window where I drink my morning coffee. I remember watching the birds one morning and telling my husband that I wish I could just hold one! We decided to give it a shot."

"Over the course of several days, I would simply stand beside the feeder so that they would get used to my presence. Then, I began putting my hands around the feeder so that in order to drink they had to land on my fingers. I was amazed at how quickly they were willing to do this.

The next step was to remove the feeder and place a small red cap on an old milk can in the same area. They eventually found the small replacement and began feeding. The morning the photos were taken, I simply went outside and filled the cap with the sugar water, placed it in the palm of my hand, and sat very very still. Within ten minutes, they were resting in my hands, drinking. It was sheer delight for me! I was even able to move my hands around a bit with the birds on my fingers. They are light as a feather...and simply beautiful. I can't wait until next year."

hand feeding hummingbirds

A small plastic cap serves as a feeder.

hand feeding hummingbirds

The hummers were more concerned about arguing over the feeder
than perching on Abigail's fingers.

hand feeding hummingbirds

Two females argue as male approaches from the right.

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