photo of Anna's Hummingbird male

After stopping by the deck for a brief brunch, most of the hummingbirds scattered for a day around town or the surrounding emerald hills. Happy hour had just begun and most of the perches had been taken. If a ladybird came, one of the guys gave up his seat. There was hover room. It was Sunday, everyone was on their best behavior, every eligible bachelor was there. 


The setting sun shimmered from the heads of the males in their magnificent crimson helmets. A rooster coudn’t look prouder. The Main Chirp seemed to be about the Swallows of Capistrano. Seems the old swing tune, “When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano”, was playing at one of San Juan’s secret gardens, prompting the old hummingbird argument, “Why are the swallows of Capistrano always coming back?”. San Juan Bautista’s hummingbirds can’t understand why a bird would leave a perfectly good Mission in the first place, let alone have to come all the way back, every year.


Most birds who spend time in The San Juan Bautista Mission gardens, the impressive California State Park or City Gardens, establish a home within the sound of the bells. The local birds have been operating this stage stop for visiting and migrating hummingbirds, (any bird, really) since before the invention of the wheel. It was a rough ride, but they could fly. 


When hummingbirds chuckle at an inside joke, one can feel their good nature; They feel, with all due respect to the chicken, that they are a true, but ignored, mascot of San Juan Bautista. I heard one say, “Can a chicken fly backwards?’ The young sky jocks snickered a little. This small town is the perfect place to be a hummingbird. Why fly away?