Moments ago, I looked out the patio door, and there was one Ruby Throated Hummingbird standing on another. At first, I thought I was witnessing a mating session, however, it became clear these were two males. I ventured out and the one standing on the other flew away....the one taking the beating flew briefly to the ground. After locating it in the grass, I gently assisted flipping him right side up and it flew to a close apple tree and lo and behold, there is the aggressor hummingbird sitting there. Why would it go to a foot away of the aggressive bird?
Further to this, they went to the ground once more and I walked over and the aggressor flew away and the victim just laid on the ground. As I touched it's back, it flew to a branch in another tree....and again it landed beside the aggressor.
can someone offer an explanation?
Interesting story ... I have no idea but hopefully someone will have some insight into this.
I hope someone can answer as well Jimmy.
One Hummingbird, usually a male Hummer claims a particular feeder[s] and defends it/them aggressively.... a bird on a branch doesn't pose a threat to his food as one at the feeder does. After mating, many males will leave feeders to travel/feed at will, leaving the female to raise a family on her own. The majority of males leave in migration before the females and young... at this time, a female will claim feeder/feeders in the same manner.
Thx Joanne, but why did the one getting thrashed upon go back in VERY close proximity to the aggressive counterpart? You may have misunderstood my intial posting.
Mike, if you ever figure out Hummer behaviour, pls let me know. The fighting involves the food source, there is no food source on that branch so they can both continue to watch the feeder. The 'interloper' is probably still trying to find a way to sneak in to the feeder. I sometimes think Hummers would rather fight than actually eat. I have two feeders at the back of the house...my male defends them from a female that is/will be, his mate....I'll set up another feeder in the front. He will probably try to defend that one too but at least she can sneak in at times.
Interesting observation Mike, I can't offer much either. Possibly just a stubborn new comer that found a good food source in this cool weather and simply had to compete for the food supply to survive without much luck We had wet snow flurries today and near -1 celcius most of the day in campbellton and although I didn't witness hummingbirds battle, I had 8-10 cape may warblers in a constant struggle over the fresh oranges and grape jelly. Several mid air battles and a few ground squabbles were almost nonstop. I've never witness this activity. I figure it was the combination of racing hormones and simply trying to stay alive.
thank you Andrew.
Thanks for sharing Mike.......I have never witnessed such behavior and it's nice to know about their interactions with other hummers~
It was bizarre Gail......one guy was a sucker for punishment it would seem. They are at it again this morning. I get the territorial behavior, but to fly next to the obvious victor twice made me shake my head.