Hummingbird Wars

Hummingbird Wars In My Garden

Rufous Guarding Crocosmia - Hummingbird Wars

Have you ever watched how territorial hummingbirds are? I have, we had Hummingbird Wars outside my front window just this morning and all day yesterday.

Rufous Coming In For Landing - Hummingbird Wars

We have two main kinds of hummingbirds in this area. The first are the Rufous hummingbirds which are kind of fat and short and reddish color, Anna’s hummingbirds which are longer and sleek and greenish in color. The Anna’s stay all year long, while the Rufous migrate at the end of summer and return in spring.

Anna's Hummingbird On Feeder

I have watch the Anna’s mostly chasing each other away from their favorite food source for the best flower or the hummingbird feeder. On the other hand, the Rufous will fly as much as 25 or 30 feet into the air and dive bomb what ever they don’t want in their space, letting out a cry that goes something like Dee deeeee, Dee deeeee.

Rufous Humming Bird On Feeder

Yesterday, and this morning I have watched members of the two kinds of hummers go at it with each other with and with other members of their tribe. I have watched first an Anna’ hummingbird and then a Rufous guard the hummingbird feeder or the crocosmia outside my window. And this has kept up all day long and all morning long today.

Rufous Scanning The Skies

At one point yesterday, a little Rufous hummingbird sat on the top of the feeder and just scanned the skies back and forth, back and forth and up and down, it watched to make sure that none of its enemies were coming to invade His feeder.

At another point. I watched an Anna’s hummingbird and Rufous hummingbird in combat, as they flew about 20 or 30 feet fighting beak to beak, before they flew off and disappeared.

Anna's Feeding On  Crocosmia

And so it goes on. I have read somewhere that at least one culture, and I had thought it was the Aztec, considered hummingbirds a bird of war, because of hummingbird aggression and territoriality. However, I was unable to find this reference when I wrote this post.

So if anyone knows what culture that was, please add a comment here and let us know.

One of our local gardening experts, Cisco Morris, has a TV show on Northwest cable news called Gardening with Cisco. In one his TV segments, he recommended putting your feeders out of sight of each other so that the humming birds do not fight with one another. I have my humming bird feeders more or less out of sight of each other. While this may reduce their opportunities to fight, as I have seen, it does not eliminate it. Still, it is best to try.

I would love to know what you have seen of humming bird wars in your garden. So, feel free to leave a comment..

Earlier today, I received a very nice comment from Sue at www.careyfamily.org on a previous post and a link to a site for Paying It Forward (compliments and shout outs for blogs someone likes).

So in keeping with that thought I would like to Pay It Forward to another gardening blogger, whose blog is humorous, knowledgable and beautiful. May Dreams Gardens in Indianapolis, IN is that blog. Carol writes about gardening in the Hoosier state, and her escapades with garden fairies and an assortment of garden mavens, but is currently visiting my neck of the woods in the Pacific Northwest. I invite you to visit her blog and to click on the button to visit Holly and see other blogs that are being mentioned this week.

 

6 Replies to “Hummingbird Wars”

  1. Yes, I have witnessed hummingbird wars. I am fascinated by hummingbirds and I read everything I see about them. It is hard to believe that such beautiful and dainty looking creatures have such a short temper. I read somewhere that since they need more energy than any other bird, they have to fight to get all the nectar they need to be able to do those amazing flying stunts, like floating in mid air.

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    1. Ana,
      They are really interesting to watch. When I opened your comment, there was a hummer right there on the feeder above me on the patio. It is true, I think, that they need more energy than any other bird. What I find really amazing is that for those who overwinter here (the Anna’s), I was informed that they go into some kind of semi-hibernation when they have to be at rest on cold nights that can get into the teens.
      Yael

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  2. A ruby-throat hummingbird once ran into the window at work and knocked itself out. I took it home and cared for it until it was well enough to fly away. It was amazing holding such a small bird in my hand. They are such beautiful birds!

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    1. Rochelle,
      Goodness. You were a good hummingbird mom. We have hummers that hover by my windows, and I am always afraid of them hitting it as some other birds have done. We now have window decals on all our windows that reduce the chance of birds doing this. Hummingbirds are indeed tiny. I think they are no more than an ounce. I agree that they are beautiful. I don’t have ruby throated ones here, but our Anna’s do have a bright red throat. I know we have two kinds and I think that a third kind comes here – the caliope, although I have never seen one.

      Yael

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      1. There were only ruby-throated hummers where I grew up in California, so that’s the only kind I know of. I really didn’t realize there were so many other types.

        We had a hummingbird feeder in our backyard when I was a child, and we could see it from our kitchen window. I loved watching them come and feed. I also learned that if you have a feeder, you need to keep adding nectar to it, because the birds get in the routine of visiting your feeder. They are amazing birds!

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      2. Rochelle,
        We have about 4 hummingbird feeders in your yard. And yes, we do need to keep filling them up. If there is anything left after two days, we give them fresh nectar anyway. We make our own with 1:3 sugar water.
        Yael

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