Blog stats

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hummingbird wars, phase 3

The backyard hummingbird wars have heated up again as a new wave of the cantankerous little birds has swept in with the latest cool front. Working in the garden this morning, I was constantly buzzed by the combatants as they chased each other around. I couldn't tell you how many were involved in the battles, but I know for sure there were Ruby-throated adult males and females and at least one juvenile male and there were at least a couple of Rufous females. I went and grabbed my camera and tried to document some of the visitors.

 An adult Ruby-throated female held sway at one of the feeders. She guarded it against visits by any of the other birds. Of course, occasionally when she was chasing one bird off, another would slip in for a sip!

Meanwhile, at one of the other feeders, an adult male was guarding his prize.

A juvenile male RTH, identifiable by the spot on his throat sat on a bare twig over a hamelia bush the blossoms of which he considered his personal feeding ground.

I didn't see any male Rufous hummers today but there seemed to be several of the females - and maybe a juvenile - around. I was able to capture images of two of the females.

This bird often chose the same perches and vantage points as one of the birds which spent last winter with me, which made me think perhaps it was the same bird. Or maybe not - who knows? They don't wear name tags.

This female showed a preference for crape myrtles and often perched in the tangle of branches of a couple of neighboring trees.

The cast of characters changes almost daily now and I don't know if any of these birds will still be here tomorrow, but so far it has been a very active migration season. It started early and now it is in full swing and the show - and the war - goes on.


  1. Looks like you have a lot of activity there. I'm seeing mostly RTH. I think they are keeping all the black chinned hummingbirds away. I love to hear the Rufous hummingbirds.

    1. It's possible that I may have a Black-chinned or two here, but I'm not good at distinguishing them from RTHs on the wing. They look so very similar. I enjoy the Rufouses, too. Their personalities as well as the sounds they make are quite different from RTH.

  2. Wow - your photographs are wonderful! I've been enjoying the hummer warz too and am about to blog about them, but your photos are much better than mine!

    1. I'll be checking your blog later. You are very kind about the pictures - it helps a lot to get lucky occasionally.