Hummingbird Wars

January 10, 2010 · 3 comments

They are the most remarkable little works of nature.


Witnessed from a yard or two away, their perky, Pixaresque characteristics of size, spunk, and aerodynamic abilities are mesmerizing.


Have I mentioned lately how much we love our new Nikon D90? The only thing I did to these photos was crop them to fit the format of our blog: no Miss Clairol or Photoshop for these beauties.


The males are especially vibrant… showy little things, really. I mean honestly… look at those eyelashes, even!


It’s hard to imagine, but a seat closer to the action is not necessarily a good thing when it comes to hummingbirds.

They’re addicts, and addiction to a perceived scarce resource is an ugly game to watch up close.


These kids need sugar, and they don’t like to share.

Oh sure, a male and female can tolerate one another for a minute or two around the old watering holes. Where else can you meet people these days?


But when two or more males get a bit peckish and decide to head for a seat at the local bar at the same time, things happen alarmingly quickly.

They come in fast and without advance warning, like stealth drones on a mission. They DO NOT like to be crowded for elbow space and will not tolerate being rushed through their meal by punk Johnnys-come-lately.

Furtive sips are necessary, always on the lookup for the inevitable intruders.  As soon as one is spotted, they zip into mid-air, puff themselves out into “check the pipes, dude!” mode and vibrate like peacocks in a turf war. It’s like watching two-inch helicopters in a classic dogfight.


Truthfully, the little peckers are making me nervous. I’m afraid I’m going to get caught in a fly-by shooting and lose an eye, which is what makes the appeal of this


… so completely lost on me. Some people have serious thrill issues.

For me, trying not to lose a full tumbler of a refreshing adult beverage while being dive-bombed by outraged needle-nose fliers with low-blood sugar is close enough, thank you very much.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandi Fentiman January 11, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Geez, I gotta watch my typos. And it looks like you get the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds down there; unless they go by some other names down there. Don’t worry, I very much doubt they go after humans.


Dad January 10, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Don’t put red food die in the feeder; it slowly poisons them and will eventually kill them if their bodies can’t got rid of it. I read an article on them a while back. They also happen to be very territorial, although it’s mainly with other hummies.


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