hummingbird is guarding the feeder

epw0946(b5 OH)August 14, 2011

We love to watch the hummers feeding and flying around. At the beginning of summer all was well. Everyone was sharing the feeder. We had 2 feeders. A few weeks ago one big fellow decided no one else was going to use the feeder. He sits in a bush and watches and as soon as another gets near the feeder he swooshes down and chases it away. We sometimes have 3-4 flying around fighting. One actually hit the window today. We put up 2 other feeders in places the bully could not see or so we thought. He seems to be everywhere at once. This is the third year this has happened. Maybe he is inheriting his greediness from his parents. So other than trapping him and taking him down the road and letting him out at someone else's home - what can we do????? Has anyone else ever had this problem??

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eigdeh(z6 NJ)

This is normal Hummingbird behavior. Hummingbirds are very territorial as it is life or death for them to have a supply of nectar. Why some people have birds sharing feeders is explained by some as the birds being to exhausted to fight anymore.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 12:19AM
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You have the right idea on number of feeders, but you need just a few more birds to exaust the bully. It usually takes 6-8 birds after 4 feeders at my house to fully drain the energy out of the bully. This is the same process every year at my house. First 1, then 2, then 4 and so on until I have 10-20 birds on the feeders all summer. I have 10-30 or more currently.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 10:38AM
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Males generally stake out their feeders, and only let the "chosen" female use it. If there are many females in the area, you may see them all use it, sometimes all at the same time. The male who has staked out your feeder, will almost always chase off any other males and sometimes the females too. Good luck, they'll all have to get used to mulitple feeders.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 9:05PM
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