LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dueling Hummingbirds

We seem to have more hummingbirds around lately, and they are not getting along well at all. These two birds were in constant conflict at our front feeder. I watched from the window for several minutes. They jockeyed for position and flew against each other, going straight up like a pair of tiny helicopters. I decided to step out on the porch to see if I could catch a picture or two.

Here is one of the birds in a rare moment at the feeder alone:




Here is the other bird, also at a rare moment alone at the feeder:

I love the hostile look on the hummer's face. Clearly does not want to share.
In fact, I think I can take you on:
Yeah, you and who else?
The two of them go at it, swirling and rising and falling.
A shaky peace is reached for a while, but each bird briefly challenges the other periodically.
Suddenly, a third hummingbird enters the scene. I don't think this is going to work. The bird on the left is not going to stand for this.

So now we have three birds involved. I wonder how such activity can be in the hummingbird's best interest? They have a very long migration ahead of them and hardly anyone gets any nectar this way. No one seemed willing to give up the conflict and come back later.
It was quite a sight to see, probably the longest hummingbird duel I've witnessed.

20 comments:

Kerri said...

Wow! Your capture of these hummers dueling is AWESOME!!

fishing guy said...

Carolyn: What a neat post of the hummers having a disagreement. that rather fight then share.

Shellmo said...

How fun to see all this action - your photos are great!

KGMom said...

Oh my goodness--I think you had best run out and buy two more separate feeders, put them paces apart, and stop all the hummingbird wars. Will wars never cease?
Who knew such small creatures that give us such delight could be so bellicose?

Twisted Fencepost said...

Great pictures! You were so lucky to be a witness to that and be able to capture it and share

Dave's Bird Watching Blog said...

Nice hummingbird shots!

Darla said...

What is it with the females? We have had a very large amount of Hummers this year as well and the mood to not get along is with them here too. Came by via fishing guy

Hendersonville Epicurean said...

Okay...AMAZING PHOTOS! What a fun read. Thanks for sharing this story.

Lynne said...

Wonderful pictures! I've never seen anything like it.

LauraHinNJ said...

Great pics!

I'd suggest a second feeder also, out of view.

LauraHinNJ said...

Just want to add that the behavior may be appropriate, considering a hummer's 'natural' diet of flowers that can only be visited so often for nectar.

These gals are just protecting what they think is a limited food source!

Jayne said...

Beautiful shots Carolyn...wow!

The Birdlady said...

I've never seen that - sometimes I see one come to the feeder and anothr swoop in and chase it away, or I've seen them - as many as 3 or 4 - chasing each othr around in the trees, but I have never had 3 at a feeder at the same time. Photos arem great!

dguzman said...

Look at all that hummer disapproval!

nina said...

Aren't they quite the entertainers!
I miss mine for the year--they were such fun during dinnertime--both ours, and theirs!

Mary said...

Carolyn, wow. You captured their ferocious nature during their time of getting ready to leave! Wonderful, fabbo photos!

I'm sad to say that my hummers are leaving - counted ten on Wednesday evening - today only four...

And, as you showed, they were dueling after sharing for a few weeks...

Ruth said...

The girls know how to fight! Great pictures.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks, everyone. We do have several hummingbird feeders located in the front yard and on separate ends of the deck, as well as flowers on the deck. So there is no food shortage. However, the hummers still stake out their territory and will fight over one feeder while the others may be empty.

Like all of you, I will miss these charming birds who have entertained us all summer. They will be leaving us soon.

scienceguy288 said...

With their long beaks it looks like a fencing match. Amazing photos.

truewonder said...

Amazing camera work and focus. Thank you for sharing...