Human befriends hummingbird, names him Hector and brings wholesome joy to millions
"Hector the nectar collector" flies right up to the open window and drinks from Julian's hand.
Hummingbirds are fascinating to watch, so people often put hummingbird feeders in their yards during the summer. But one special hummingbird and his human friend have taken that fascination to another extremely wholesome level.
Julian, better known as @birdperson666 on TikTok and Instagram, has gained over 2 million followers with videos of a neighborhood hummingbird named Hector's visits. Julian told ABC7 that it only took about five days for "Hector the nectar collector" to start eating from his hand and that Hector sometimes visits several times a day. The combination of Julian's deep, resonant voice and Hector's adorable, iridescent self makes for surprisingly addictive content.
Hummingbirds are quite a unique species, after all. Their wings beat around 70 times per second and up to 200 times per second during a dive. They are the only bird that can fly forward, backward and sideways and hover in the air. They're wicked fast—the Anna's hummingbird flies faster proportionally for its body size than a fighter jet. And they're wicked hungry, too, with a metabolism that requires them to consume twice their body weight in food each day.It's no wonder that Hector has regularly shown up at Julian's window for a snack for the past couple of years.
Julian's videos of Hector's visits started going viral early in the COVID-19 pandemic and most of them are delightfully similar. "Yo, Hectorrrrr," Julian calls from his open window while holding out a small feeder filled with sugar water. And Hector, bless his tiny little needle beak, dutifully flies over to say hi and take some sips.
Take a load off! 😋
Sometimes Hector even lands on Julian's finger while he eats. Hummingbirds have sharp memories and recognize humans and their voices, so it's not just a coincidence that Hector routinely shows up to see Julian.
take a chill 😋
Sometimes Hector will disappear for weeks or months and then return to Julian's window. (Hector belongs to a species that is non-migratory, so he has a permanent home nearby.)
Julian told ABC7 that he uses the Audubon Society's recipe for hummingbird nectar, which is four parts water to one part white granulated sugar, because that recipe is the closest in chemical makeup to natural flower nectar.
Much to their followers' chagrin, Julian moved to a new apartment in early 2023 and had to say goodbye to Hector. But thankfully, a little female hummingbird has already picked up where Hector left off, landing right on Julian's hand and offering hope for continued hummingbird joy.
Maybe she’s born with it…
Thanks for sharing Hector and a love of hummingbirds with the world, Julian!