Hyper-aggressive young male

MeanandPinchy(6a)August 21, 2011

I turned the back yard into a butterfly/hummingbird garden, and knowing quite well how territorial the birds are, I planted at least two of everything (separate) when I put in their plants. Initially, I had one feeder, but then we met P. Tom Hummingbird. He's a young male with just the beginning of a red throat, and that little guy never got the memo saying, "You are a very small bird". P. Tom is short for "Peeping Tom", named after his habit of hovering outside the back door, peering in at whichever of us is sitting on the back stairs to watch the activity in the garden. After I noticed P. Tom driving every other hummer--male or female--away from the feeder, I got another and put it on the other side of 6' tall cosmos plants. That worked for a couple of days, until he discovered it was there...he'd try to defend that one as well. I bought yet another feeder, and put it on the opposite side of a trumpet honeysuckle clump, not visible from either of the other two. P. Tom has now taken to sitting on a power line that crosses the back yard, where he can see everything, and he'll chase away every other hummingbird. Also a few Monarch butterflies. I've even tried going outside to scare him every time I see him up there. If he flies away, it's 10' to a tree branch, where he sits and looks at me. He's fearless; he's hovered 3' from my face when I'm out there, deadheading flowers, and it's almost as if he's demanding to know how I dare enter his territory. While I must admire his intestinal fortitude, and I like the little guy, I really had the idea of hummingbird*S* in the garden. I know that if I had more birds, he couldn't chase them all, but how can I attract more when he keeps chasing them away before they have time to figure out that my back yard has a pretty good menu?

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It certainly can be fun to watch their many different antics. I had a similar controlling adult male all spring . In my back yard I have to cables I strung from two 4x4 posts and he loved to sit on those and guard his territory. It seemed anytime I looked out my rear slider I could see him there and if he wasnt there he would be on a sheperds hook in the front yard. This seemed to go on all the way up to august. I would see him go from front to back trying to guard everything but it was difficult.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 11:35AM
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It is very difficult to keep one bully at bay with only 3-4 birds. You would only be out around $9 for a couple of more feeders to spread around. At another location, I had feeders on front, back & side of house to start with and eventually wound up with over 20 feeders on the back porch with a few on the same porch to the side of the house and none in front. My plan was to add feeders until I had 10 or more birds and then just have a couple of feeders up. Just kept getting more birds.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 11:57AM
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Hahaha! Well, at least I'm not alone. More feeders it is, then. When I put in the garden, I didn't realize I'd have to grow hummingbird feeders along with hummingbird flowers, but P. Tom's got a good thing going and he knows it, so I'll just have to "out-feeder" him until he's too tired from all the patrolling. Thanks for your replies!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 5:30PM
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