Before the big freeze I took my hummingbird feeder down, figuring that the noisy little guy that lives in the trees across the way had probably headed somewhere more temperate for the season, following the pull of zugunruhe and the call of brighter flowers in other places. But then in a morning a few days after Thanksgiving I looked out the window and saw him sitting on the topmost branch, looking bewildered and a little irritated about the uncluttered landscape of my balcony.
On the Saturday during the big rain I looked up in time to see him sitting there, drenched and forlorn, at the feeder. So I have been doing research to help make sure he makes it, since it seems that my little friend is wintering here in spite of the lack of flowers. I'm worried about him, of course--hummingbirds are always just a few hours away from starving to death because it takes so much energy just to keep themselves going--but it's comforting to be able to make the effort to keep something else alive. Even if it turns out that my hummingbird is the kind that tends to overwinter in town, and it's only that one has never before decided to do so within range of my own home.
And it is comforting to have a compatriot in this winter time, hunkered down almost within reach, waiting through the waiting and the wind and the cold. I'm already concocting stories about how to get him into a little sweater and all of the unlikely adventures we'll be going on.