Territorial Male

mbuckmaster(7B/NC)July 18, 2008

If male ruby-throats were human, they'd be real jerks! This guy won't let anyone near this feeder. Usually he sits in the silverbell 15 yards away and swoops in, but there were too many females trying to get in this morning. So instead of sharing, this courteous "gentleman" stakes out the feeder right on it! Not drinking, just sitting there; for over an hour, chasing away anyone else who came to get a drink.

You've gotta love these little birds; but they could use a little moral guidance. =)

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ronmann

Ours are the same way.

They chase each other around like fighter aircraft.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 1:23PM
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mbuckmaster(7B/NC)

As I write this, nearly three hours later, he is still sitting there. He's like a beefeater at the Tower of London. Sheesh.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 1:39PM
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scouterbecky(6 Southern IL)

Obviously he isn't lookin' for any lovin'.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 1:53PM
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hummersteve

Here , in the evening is usually when the adult males come in to feed and sometimes they just stake their claim on whichever feeder. One particularly bold hummer , in the evening time will perch on the window feeder and basicly ignore me , I can go right up against the window not 6 inches from him and he wont move , he is so geared in on his feeder.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 1:57PM
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ronmann

Just this past week end I saw a male hummer chaseing gold and house finches down through a saw tooth oak that I have in our front yard.

Here in Upper East Tennessee last year we had a late killing freeze, that killed the top of the tree, causeing it to grow out dense, thick, and bushy.

I'm guessing that they are nesting in the oak and may have to move my finch feeds that are on the lower limbs.

The saw tooth oak that I am seeing all the activity from is only 20 yards from my feeder and 50 yards from 10 arces over grown over with wild honey suckle.

We use to have a small family beef operation here, but I have let it go for wild life.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 2:00PM
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mbuckmaster(7B/NC)

This guy is still there. My couch is right next to the window the feeder hangs outside; right now I can't be sitting more than three feet away from this guy! He flew away when I sat down, but is there now, yanking his head back and forth to try and see all angles at once. I've never seen one be so tenacious about his guard...it really has been pretty much all day long!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 5:44PM
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mbuckmaster(7B/NC)

Territorial Hummer Watch, Day 2:

He has been here on and off today, but there have been no other hummingbirds allowed near this feeder. A couple have tried, and been mercilessly berated and beaten. He's a true tyrant!

I have no idea how he keeps up this relentless watch. Hummers don't live on sugar water alone...when does he get his protein?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 12:41PM
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dyhgarden(7b)

In my garden, it's a feisty little female ruling the feeders. She sits on one of the feeders and perches for a long time and chases others away from the flowers!

My husband was out in the garden this morning and said he thinks we've got some new juveniles.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 2:01PM
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mbuckmaster(7B/NC)

Territorial Hummer Watch, Day 3:

He returned to his silverbell post for much of the day, but still sat on the feeder for a few stretches. No other hummers were allowed to feed. The few that tried were repelled with a ferocious expansion of his chest and wings. Curiously, there was silence when this happened...none of the normal screeches and squawks. What a character!

I'm considering hanging another feeder or two near this one. He can't sit at them all!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 10:28PM
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phloxmom

Hi everyone! What a wonderfully hilarious thread, mbuckmaster! I am loving this discussion and also glad to know that I am not the only one who has this issue with SEVERAL hummers who are extrememly territorial however I think your little guy takes the cake or in this case, the nectar!
I have a couple of Allens who actually chase the Ruby- throated Rufous' and Annas' daily! They have been caught sitting and waiting on the feeders, on tree branches and shepherd hooks! They're mean and feisty little things but cute as can be!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 1:00PM
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mbuckmaster(7B/NC)

I'm happy to report the territorial hummer has retired due to the heat...it got up to 97oF today. He still came by for a drink or two, but was just not up to chasing away the females who took advantage of his absence.

...or perhaps he finally settled down with a nice girl. =)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 10:56PM
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joela

Mine are the same way, you have to be careful on our patio or they will fly right into you. They are so funny to watch. I have a male that does the same thing yours does.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 6:43PM
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nannerbelle(8A)

I have several. Most of my aggressive, feeder sitters are males, but I've got some pretty feisty females too. For the last two days, I've had constant hummingbird wars going on in the back. I have had 15 or so out at one time, and I swear you you think that it was "Star Wars" all over again!! They have really been going at it, I saw two fighting today that went pretty much straight up in the air swirling and flapping at each other then flew off in different directions when gravity took over. They are chasing each other, over the house, around the deck, even threw the banisters on the deck! They are all getting so brave, they are staking out their ground on the rails of my plant shelves on the deck, my plant shepherds hooks, on feeders and on a couple of flag hangers I have out in the back gardens. LOL I was out in the garden today working and had to duck several times. I've seen up to 5 perched at one time, guarding their areas. What a show these little fellows are putting on this year!!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 9:54PM
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mbuckmaster(7B/NC)

Well, he may have finally retired the spurs. I saw him several times today, but several females were allowed to sip from the sacred feeder he'd been guarding so vehemently. I never thought a female beak would be permitted in its feeder ports again!...he was that dedicated to his post. But alas, men are weak--as my wife kindly reminds me--and so nature's balance returns again. No doubt he'll return to his early morning and dusk duty as normal.

You've got to love hummers!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 11:22PM
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