Warning this story may be disturbing for some of you. Since this story is what I think of when I hear the word hummingbird, I am afraid I will have to tell it. If you are sensitive to tragic bird stories, please skip to the recipe. It is lovely and in no way disturbing.
My grandmother loved hummingbirds. No matter where they lived she always had a couple hummingbird feeders around the house. She would sip her morning coffee and stare at the birds flying in an out for their daily treat. This summer they had moved to a new house and my PawPaw wanted to do something special for her. He made her a new feeder and put it up outside the large plate glass window that framed the kitchen table. As we all sit down for breakfast my PawPaw points out the new feeder and heads out to check on his garden. The new house had a lot more hummingbird activity than previous ones so she was pretty happy with this new addition.
As we are getting ready to eat we hear a thump. Then another thump, then another. We all look up to see where the noise is coming from. All we see is a blur and then hear another thump. As our eyes adjust, the realization hits. It’s a hummingbird and its flying straight for the window! Then another comes, same thing thump thump thump till it falls to the ground. My grandmother's eyes grow huge and she starts looking around exclaiming “Oh my! Oh no! Oh my! What’s happening!"
Obviously, the first bird had not put out the warning signal for the others. They kept coming. In my child's brain, it felt like it was a constant stream of hummingbirds on a suicide mission. As we snap out of shock the kids run to my find my grandfather to tell him about the carnage. My grandmother goes running outside to stop the madness. As children can be (complete insensitive asses) we start giggling as we run toward him. All he sees is his grandchildren running toward him yelling “Birds! Boom! Splat! Window! Help!” then burst into giggle fits (how awful we were - my grandmother is in distress and we can’t stop giggling long enough to help. We have grown up to be better people, I promise).
PawPaw hears my grandmother's constant stream of “Oh my! Oh no! Stop! Fly away! Please stop!” She had made herself a human shield, standing in front of the window with all appendages spread as far as they could go. Luckily he got there quickly and with his amazing Grandpa MacGyver talents gets the feeder down in what seemed like seconds. Swoops my grandmother back into the house before she sees the pile of victims outside the window and shoos us away with a mighty harsh "you will pay for this later look". He came to the conclusion that somehow where the feeder was placed caused a reflection in the window that made it look like it was on the other side. Unbeknownst to him, he had played a deadly prank on these poor birds. The incident was never brought up again and all feeders were moved a safe distance from the window of doom. I guess the lesson here is be careful where you put bird feeders and try not to be an ass when your beloved grandmother is in distress.
No hummingbirds were hurt in the making of this delicious cake.