The rain eases and a quieting falls across my mountain. It’s that moment after a rain storm when the sound of rain has faded but the birds have not yet resumed their chorus. The smell of the rain mingles with the damp earth and fragrance of the hydrangeas and permeates the humid air. The silence is broken by the beating of tiny wings as the hummingbirds emerged from hidden sanctuaries among the mountain magnolia and begin to hover around the feeder on my deck.
When I purchased a cheap hummingbird feeder back in the Spring I knew that they were territorial and often squabbled over a spot at the feeder but I didn’t realize just how antisocial they could be until I hung the second feeder in a spot where I could monitor them throughout the day. Not only are they territorial but they’re downright violent. Or so it would seem. There are many duels throughout the day. Even to the point where I feared one of them had been killed. But then I took a closer look at the small bird laying motionless on the deck. She had her feathers ruffled for sure but there was no blood. She was absolutely still and I decided to step out and see if needed to move her away from the feeder. But as soon as I opened the door she sprang to life and zoomed back into the forest. I watched as time and time again this pattern repeated except that without my interference the hummingbirds that seemed to be defeated would pop up and feed from the feeder as soon as the victor was out of sight. She’s been playing possum the whole time! I’ve not been able to dedicate enough time to individually identify each bird as an individual but there’s four different hummingbirds that visit my feeders. The dominant male seems to have claimed all the feeders for himself and while he chases one away the other 2 sneak in for a drink. Albeit not with a great amount of tolerance for each other but they do seem to begrudgingly share. So I began to listen to some podcasts and documentaries on hummingbirds and one of the things I learned is that they exhibit a very high degree of intelligence and are even capable of recognizing the people who fill the feeders. Which leaves me to believe that they’re actually using tactics to deal with the bully in the yard. And that even though he’s being a bully that dominant male has limits on how far he’ll go in his aggressive behavior. He only pins the others down and when they submit he leaves them to recover. And this makes sense because he will probably mate with one or more of the females in the season. Now to be honest I haven’t actually found an expert confirm that but I’m going to continue to observe them under the presumption that this is what’s happening.
I did also learn that the best way to reduce violence among hummingbirds at your feeder is to keep multiple feeders out of the line of sight with each other. The dominant male will select a perch where he can see as much of the area as possible but if you can find his blind spots and set up at least three feeders that will give the less dominant hummingbirds a place to feed too.
I’ve learned quite a bit now and will provide more tips and trivia in future posts as I get more photos of them.
Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.
For those who have been following me on Facebook and know of the struggle content providers have to get circulation from big tech I’ve been recommending for people to adopt MeWe as a social media platform. One of the problems I’ve run into on MeWe is that people don’t know how to navigate the platform. So to help with that I’ve created a permanent page on my website as a basic Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe I’ve tried to anticipate all basic questions there and You can bookmark the page to have as a reference and if you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me. I do still have a day job and I help admin several pages on both platforms so replies might be a little slow but I will answer you.
We also have the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe that is set up as a fully functional community. There you’ll not only be able to see and connect with me but you can also make your own posts and interact with each other.
I want you to join my group on MeWe: https://mewe.com/join/lloydslensphotographydiscussiongroup
Click the link below to jump to the Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe.https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/guide-to-mewe/embed/#?secret=GJGnIQEVHc
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Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?
I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply use the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.