Whoa; witnessed the mating ritual!

tracey_nj6(6)June 29, 2010

It's been driving me crazy since I saw this last week. I was out watering and heard this racket going on; I stopped and just stood there, baffled. My resident male was doing this unusual air show, and for the life of me, I had no clue as to what was going on. He was this diving back and forth in the shape of a widened U, almost like a swinging pendulum, right above the feeder. Once it stopped, of course I ran in for the video camera, which was pointless, since he disappeared. I didn't even think of a mating ritual since I haven't seen a female in about 2 weeks. I was just wandering the internet and stumbled upon a page in regards to this behavior. Just when I thought getting "buzzed" was mind blowing. I still haven't seen a female, which of course doesn't mean she's not out there. I have been lucky enough to have juvies at my feeders, so I'll be keeping a closer eye on the feeders ;)

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GawdinFever(z5b/St. Louis, MO)

I've seen it before (not this year). It is so cool!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 11:55PM
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eigdeh(z6 NJ)

Lucky you Tracey!

The PBS special last year on Hummingbirds had the dive featured in the show. You can watch the show on the pbs site if you missed it. If you can't find it on the pbs.org site let me know and I will look it up for you.

I was going to take in the cotton I had out for the hummers since I thought that the hummers were past this point in NJ. I will leave it out longer now. So far they have not used it.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 12:39AM
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I have seen this twice this year here in South Jersey. The last time was about a week ago. The male was flying back and forth in a U-shaped arc. The female was in a crepe myrtle bush singing. I thought it was late for mating also.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 12:09AM
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Its always fun to see this courtship. I usually see all the U's they do but havent this year. But I have read and been told by banders that the side to side dance they do is the more serious and usually means a mating will follow. The actual mating [I have read] is easily missed as it only takes 3 or 4 seconds at most.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 10:47AM
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mangledmind(AZ 9B)

eigdeh, thanks for the PBS info, that was a cool show.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 8:09PM
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I have seen more of the unusual I think. I was watching 2 Hummer's at the feeder when all of a sudden one dropped to the ground. I thought it died right before my eye's. I went out and touched it and it got up and flew away into a tree. It happend once again and I went out and touched it and it got up and flew away. The 3rd time I saw a red throatd hummer doing this flight pattern of the big U and she fell to the ground and he went down and got on top of her for a very short time. He left and she flew away. I am guessing they had a mating came going on. I am curious as to why she kept falling to the ground. Is this normal for them to do. May 17th 2011 Michigan

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 10:30AM
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Hi Tracey

Yes Ive seen the small u and the big U and other maneuvers. But they say the most serious one is when the male goes side to side pretty fast but not covering more than a foot or so after that the male follows when she leaves and thats when it takes place, so Ive been told.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 9:40PM
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