LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Monday, August 9, 2010

Not Sharing at All

Several people wondered why Lucy was looking so morose in Friday's post. Simple. I was out in the yard and she was left inside. She stood at the window watching me the entire time I was photographing our aggressive little hummingbirds.

Here are a few of the shots. You might need to click to enlarge.

Hummer number one is sitting cautiously at the feeder.


Hummer number two flies in.

Chasing number one backward.


Number two sits at the feeder just as cautiously.



In an instant they are at it again.




Hummer number three joins in the fracas.



Number two hovers over the feeder, sitting but not sipping and ready for more battle.





Which comes soon enough.





The birds chase each other continuously. Often they bump into each other and temporarily drop toward the ground. They whirl straight up, they dive down, and they chase each other all over the yard. Number two clings to the feeder like a chickadee, trying to defend the space.
The same scenario is playing out at the backyard feeder as well. At a given moment, I can stand in the kitchen watching the fight out front and turn to watch another one on the deck in back. I can assure you the birds are getting some nectar. I've had to fill all three feeders every day. Why can't they share the table like Jayne's birds do?

22 comments:

Appalachian Lady said...

I also don't understand why the hummers don't share. They seem to be the most aggressive birds around. Nice photos and post.

Karin said...

It was fascinating to see the contrast in your and Jayne's post! Just like people - some get along and others - watch out!

The Zen Birdfeeder said...

Great series. Those hummers are SO hard to capture - nice job.

Vicki Lane said...

Wonderful captures! Just now we have one feeder successfully defended by a lone male and a second feeder on the other side of the house with a constant mob scene of 8 or 10 hummers. Sometimes I have to refill it 3 times in the day.

Elizabeth said...

Battle!!! I love your pictures.

TaraDharma said...

great photos! The never-ending battle for resources...

troutbirder said...

They sure are feisty...but fun to watch. Great pics Carolyn

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love to see hummingbird fracas!
Great photos!

Connie Arnold said...

Great photos! I love to watch hummingbirds! You made some wonderful shots of them.

Ima June Pullet said...

In the early spring we get at least 60 hummers in the morning and again in the evening at our three feeders. Sometimes it sounds like an air show.

My mother took down her bird feeder a couple of years ago because the birds didn't "play nice" like she thought they should. :(

carolina nana said...

WOW !! what great pics of those hummers. What kind of camera and lens do you use ?
Blessings to you
Marilyn

Jayne said...

LOL Carolyn... I have a post cued up for tomorrow showing a little male tyrant now guarding my feeder. The happy table didn't last long!

Carol@ Writers Porch/ Book House said...

Great pictures Carolyn! We have constant Hummer war here too!

Cheryl said...

Hi Caroline, I did not realise that hummers were so aggressive. They look such sweet little birds.

Very interesting post and lovely images showing their behaviour......

Cheryl said...

Just popped back to say so sorry I spelt your name wrong. Always irritates me, if someone does not spell my name correctly. I do apologise.....won't do it again, slapped wrist Cheryl

The Captain's Daughter said...

Your photos are fantastic! I so enjoy watching the hummingbirds we have. We don't put out feeders, but they have plenty of food from the salvia and other blooming plants my husband planted to attract them. I love them! Thank you for sharing this with us!

Debbie Smith said...

Fantastic shots! My favorite is the one where they are in flight just about beak to beak!
Have a fabulous day!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Carolyn ---One reason I loved our trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway in VA was the mild weather we had while there... It has been so horribly hot here at home (still is) that it's made for a pretty miserable summer.

That was a neat picture of Lucy behind the screen... It does look like a painting....

Your Hummingbird pictures are gorgeous. We have alot of hummers here now--and I need to take some time to get some photos.

Hope you are doing fine...
Hugs,
Betsy

scienceguy288 said...

It's like they're jousting! Or dueling with rapiers.

At any rate, they can be rather agressive when it comes to nectar. Males have set territories which they will defend. This helps in several respects. It prevents other males from taking the females in the area. Also, because the males are brightly colored, they attract predators, so if only one is in a given area, the offspring in the nest have a better chance of going unnoticed and surviving. This is also why the females are often the only ones who care for the eggs and why they are drabber.

Also, for more hummingbird drama: http://biology.georgefox.edu/~dpowers/Powers/HumPubs/LLW_CDR77.pdf

Some tropical female hummingbirds will use what God gave them and try to "convince" a male that she sould be allowed to feed in his territory.

dguzman said...

Great pics!

George said...

We see the same types of fights around our hummingbird feeders, although the fights usually involve only two hummers.

Twisted Fencepost said...

Great shots!!!
They fight over the feeders here too.
I have two feeders but it seems they always fight over the same one.