1. Entertainment
Send to a Friend via Email

Hand-Feeding Hummingbirds

Netlore Archive: Emailed images show several hummingbirds calmly feeding from a woman's outstretched hand.

Description: Viral images
Circulating since: Sep. 2006
Status: Authentic


Email example contributed by John W., Oct. 15, 2006:

Hand Feeding Hummingbirds

Something I have never seen before, nor ever even heard of. This lady lives in a Hummingbird fly zone. As they migrated, about 20 of them were in her yard. Just for a lark, she took the little red dish and filled it with sugar water and these are the results.

Email caption: This lady lives in a Hummingbird fly zone. As they migrated, about 20 of them were in her yard. Just for a lark, she took the little red dish and filled it with sugar water and these are the results.
Click to Enlarge


Emailed photo of woman hand-feeding hummingbirds
Click to Enlarge


Pictures of woman handfeeding hummingbirds in her back yard
Click to Enlarge


Hand-feeding hummingbirds
Click to Enlarge

(Images © Sam & Abigail Alfano)


Analysis: It took very little sleuthing to track these emailed images to the online photo galleries of Sam and Abigail Alfano of Pine, Louisiana. They were taken in September 2006.

"Yes, the photos are real," wrote Mr. Alfano in answer to my inquiry. "We had NO idea they'd create such a stir and be forwarded all over the world."

Their popularity is due in part to the fact that many people assume they're fake -- that it's impossible to feed these skittish little creatures by hand in the manner shown. Not so. It just takes time and patience, as any number of authors attest. Abigail Alfano explained her own method for coaxing wild hummingbirds to eat out of her hand in an email:

Over the course of several days, I would simply stand beside the feeder so that they would get used to my presence. Then, I began putting my hands around the feeder so that in order to drink they had to land on my fingers. I was amazed at how quickly they were willing to do this. The next step was to remove the feeder and place a small red cap on an old milk can in the same area. They eventually found the small replacement and began feeding from the cap.

The morning the photos were taken, I simply went outside and filled the cap with the sugar water, placed it in the palm of my hand, and sat very, very still. Within ten minutes, they were resting in my hands, drinking. It was sheer delight for me! I was even able to move my hands around a bit with the birds on my fingers. They are light as a feather... and simply beautiful. I can't wait until next year.

More: How to Hand-Feed Hummingbirds by About.com's Guide to Birding / Wild Birds, Melissa Mayntz


Share This Article


Last updated: 05/25/10


Current Hoaxes / Netlore
The Urban Legends Top 25

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.