Saturday, October 11, 2014


Hi Everybody!!
I hope my enthusiasm for the little hummers has not misled you about the "Battles Over The Feeders" in progress here at Kates Cabin. There will be no actual killing battles. I have never seen a hummingbird killed or even bloody. These battles are of skill and will. It appears to me the birds gather here like a Family Reunion among humans. The breeder males seem to be teaching the juveniles as they attempt to challenge one of the big boys! The photos are time stamped, so you can see this series reflects 2 minutes in real time. Everything happens so fast and all feeders (25) are just as active, yet it seems controlled chaos. I am just sitting in a chair next to this feeder taking pics as fast as I can refocus. Enjoy! 

Link to Album Photostudy:



The concept of fitness is central to natural selection. In broad terms, individuals that are more "fit" have better potential for survival, as in the well-known phrase "survival of the fittest". However, as with natural selection above, the precise meaning of the term is much more subtle. Modern evolutionary theory defines fitness not by how long an organism lives, but by how successful it is at reproducing. If an organism lives half as long as others of its species, but has twice as many offspring surviving to adulthood, its genes will become more common in the adult population of the next generation.
Though natural selection acts on individuals, the effects of chance mean that fitness can only really be defined "on average" for the individuals within a population. The fitness of a particular genotype corresponds to the average effect on all individuals with that genotype. Very low-fitness genotypes cause their bearers to have few or no offspring on average; examples include many human genetic disorders like cystic fibrosis.
Since fitness is an averaged quantity, it is also possible that a favorable mutation arises in an individual that does not survive to adulthood for unrelated reasons. Fitness also depends crucially upon the environment. Conditions like sickle-cell anemia may have low fitness in the general human population, but because the sickle-cell trait confers immunity from malaria, it has high fitness value in populations that have high malaria infection rates.

Darwin's illustrations of beak variation in the finches of theGal├ípagos Islands, which hold 13 closely related species that differ most markedly in the shape of their beaks. The beak of each species is suited to its preferred food, suggesting that beak shapes evolved by natural selection.

The Hummingbirds of 2014 have adapted to artificial feeders. These birds seem to enjoy humans watching them as they put on quite a show! These birds are not afraid of cameras. They still feed on the flowers all over the yard. They do not fight over flowers.

...this is brendasue signing off from Rainbow Creek.  See you next time!