Your Weekly–‘Tiny Moment’

Amazing isn’t it? Last week’s ‘Tiny Moment’ included a reference to a Cary Grant/Alfred Hitchcock movie. This week’s ‘Tiny Moment’ does the same. What are the odds?

Actually, the odds are quite good. Last week my friend Marisol Glassport submitted a ‘Tiny Moment’ that cleverly referenced the crop dusting scene from the movie ‘North By Northwest’.

This week I am submitting a new ‘Tiny Moment’ that, after a bit of revery brought to mind the Cary Grant/Alfred Hitchcock collaboration, ‘To Catch a Thief’, wherein Grant’s character makes his living as a charming cat burglar, stealing jewels in most clever and clandestine way.

Yesterday, my wife Helen and I observed the fantastic and unique Purple-crowned Fairy hummingbird as it buzzed about some Hibiscus flowers (see below) just outside my front door. We noticed that the hummer approached each flower, not using the typical ‘front door’ method but instead seemed to focus on the back end of the flower; the ‘back door’ method if you will.

This is a technique well known to science as ‘Nectar Thievery’ and is not uncommon. Some birds, bees, moths or other insects obtain a nectar meal by poking a hole in base of the flower; bypassing the front of the flower and going straight to the source. Alas, for the flower, this method allows for no pollination of the reproductive organs…which is a really big deal if you’re a flower. (Remember hearing about the birds and bees?)

Anyway, I never knew the Purple-crowned Fairy did this. In nature sometimes it takes a thief.

Three holes in the sepal of this Hibiscus flower; an entryway for a nectar thief.
Purple-crowned Fairy: photo courtesy of eBird.

Please remember to send us your ‘Tiny Moment’.

Send to:

(Alison Olivieri)


(Greg Homer)