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   Undertoad  Tuesday Dec 19 08:36 AM

December 19, 2006: Hummingbird turf war

xoB spots this awesome set of three on Weather Underground, by a gent who goes by motoshutter there.

They're beautiful birds, these Anna's Hummingbirds. The Wikipedia entry says "They are very territorial" and motoshutter has documented that here. They start with the above aerial display...

And end up locked in mortal combat on the ground, trying to spear each other with their beaks. At this point motoshutter kind of breaks them up, and they take to air combat again;

And this proud laddie takes the battle and wins the ground, and stares down the loser until he flies away in defeat.

Griff  Tuesday Dec 19 08:50 AM

They are fun to watch. Imagine F-16 speeds with helicopter manuverability. Except much better.

Sheldonrs  Tuesday Dec 19 09:00 AM

I wonder if they were humming the music from "West Side Story".

Shawnee123  Tuesday Dec 19 09:30 AM


Yeah, snapping their wings as they circle each other...:p

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Dec 19 04:39 PM

I've heard a lot of people say they're like midgets on meth, real aggressive, because their metabolism is so high they have to eat often.

[Hbird] No, I'm not waiting my turn.....nectar NOW! [Hbird]

mandos  Tuesday Dec 19 05:08 PM

Anna's Hummingbirds

We had these birds at my house in Southern California where I grew up. They are very aggressive to other hummingbirds. It's actually fun to watch, they'll do this aerial joust sort of thing where they each rise up vertically to 50 or more feet and then dive down in a J shape and go right at each other. I've never seen them colide so I assume they're just trying to peck each other in passing, but they go FAST! Very flashy and a bit mean to one another.

(Hi, I'm a long time reader here, just never posted. Suggested a few images before though. )

capnhowdy  Tuesday Dec 19 09:28 PM

Beautiful. They won't be still long enough to get a good look at 'em.
The ones around here are all green headed.

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Dec 19 11:05 PM

Hi Mandos. Didn't hurt at all, did it.......and next time it won't seem hardly perverted at all.

Oh, and thanks for the IOtD suggestions.

Karenv  Wednesday Dec 20 02:49 AM

I am in New Orleans doing rescue work. People tell me that they haven't seen hummingbirds since Katrina hit. (Along with frogs and a few other kritters.)

SPUCK  Wednesday Dec 20 07:04 AM

They also don't notice us since we are just not in their size range. If I'm standing on my porch with my head 2 feet from the feeder they completely ignore me. You can watch them close up.

Sundae  Wednesday Dec 20 12:20 PM

Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce
...midgets on meth, real aggressive...
I did not need that image in my head!

Now I'm scared to go out in the fog in case vertically challenged substance abusers are roaming the streets headbutting kneecaps for drug money

Sarasvati48  Wednesday Dec 20 01:33 PM


I spend a lot of time all year round, sitting on my deck, watching the hummingbird dog fights over the feeder. They come pretty close to my head, and it's amazing that they don't fly into me. When I'm refilling the feeder(when it's empty, they hover, looking at me thru the kitchen garden window, and the patio door)they buzz all around my head with impatience...

Shawnee123  Wednesday Dec 20 05:02 PM


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