Have You Ever Been Stared at by a Hummingbird?


Now you have!

The hummingbirds are now landing on my hand when I change the feeder. I have ordered a hand-held feeder, but have yet to determine how I will feed them and take pics at the same time! They tend to look at me quite directly as you can see in this and the next post’s photos!

Hummingbirds are one of the most aggressive bird species. They will attack jays, ravens and even some hawks. They climb to great heights and dive bomb each other at up to 60 mph!


The hummingbird above right is flying backwards away from another bird. Hummers are the only birds that can fly backwards. They can also fly upside down!
I have purchased a second hanging feeder to lessen the competition between the birds. I have heard and seen the impacts, but so far no bird has been injured, and they even co-operate at the feeder as you can see in some of these photos.
Hummer’s hearts beat at up to 1200 beats per minute!
But, they can’t walk or hop on their feet….
Their beaks are like rapiers and they are not shy about using them!

Hummingbirds often consume up to 2X’s their body weights in nectar daily! Cheers to you from Hummer Holler!

155 thoughts on “Have You Ever Been Stared at by a Hummingbird?

      1. Yep, I loved it! My cousin had a lot of beautiful hanging flower baskets over his deck and those hummers were ferocious to each other. He’d have to rearrange feeders when company came.

    1. I really hadn’t either until we moved to the holler. I think because people are so scarce out here, the wildlife is much less afraid. Thank you for you always kind words and thoughts~

    1. I am so glad you like them. I have been nervous about posting too many hummers. I can’t get enough of them and am always learning. Now I am focusing on the group shots. Literally. It is hard to get groups in focus. I have one more post on groups and then I will lay off for awhile. The appreciation is most encouraging~

  1. Thanks for the gallery of hummers–my garden is filled with appetizers, entrees and desserts for these fabulous creatures. This summer (with the abundance of rain) cardinal flowers were very tall indeed. While there are plenty of other flowers for tasting, they could not stay away, grazing all day. I’ve never attempted to still them, but as with your group, mine will find a place to sit for a short respite. My neighbor has a feeder and the battles do occur. I think that I’ll suggest another feeder. You’ve done a terrific job capturing them in this post and others. Again thanks.

    1. Filling your garden with beautiful flowers pleases the hummingbirds, attracts butterflies and bees, and makes me (and you) happy!! Your garden sounds like one that I would love as well! I will keep you posted about the dual feeders. I read yesterday that two feeders can reduce aggressive behavior. I just think there are so many birds here now they need more nectar!!

  2. Have I ever been! Yes especially the juveniles. They have no fear. One came zooming so close to my face. A very inquisitive young one and was I ever delighted. Humming with you.

    1. Isn’t it magnificent!! It’s like little fairies playing with you. They like to whiz into my hair and make it flutter. It feels like angel wings. They fly so close they puff you with bursts of air!

    1. So am I!! I feel like I’ve been accepted into their world a bit. It always happens later in the day, when I’m wearing a super colorful Mexican floral embroidered dress that I wear around the house. I look like a big bunch of flowers to them!! lol~

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  4. I remember either reading or watching a show where children (or a child) was greased up with butter and told to extend their arms and hands and stand still… and the birds soon filled their arms and stood upon their head. Lovely shots.

    While I did see some Monarchs while traveling today was the first day I saw one briefly in my yard.
    That will be tomorrow’s daily ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Oh, perhaps once you get that hand feeder you can set your camera to take some stills of you and the hummers…if you only use one hand to feed you can use (if you have one) a remote to snap the picture? I bet you could find a place to set up your camera. You do have a stand don’t you?

    1. Oooh!! Can’t wait for the Monarch post!! And yes, I have taken photos of wild birds on my finger before. I just extended my arm, and pulled my right arm back as far as it would go and snapped. I think it will be harder with the hummingbirds though. Some people, including my husband are suggesting video. I think this may be the ticket but will take some practice. Cheers to you Jules and thank you as always for your kind words~

  6. Yes, I have had the honor of being stared at by a hummingbird. And scolded because I was too near her flower pot with fuchsia. I have managed to get a few to perch on my finger while feeding … takes a ton of patience. Need a good tripod to mount the camera while waiting for them.

    These little jewels are amazing!

    1. I’m glad people understand how thrilling it is! There were 20 at the feeder tonight! I’m going to see if I can video them. It is amazing to stand in the midst of all these buzzing birds, with your hair blowing from hummingbird wind! I posted one wrong pic. There is a better shot of the one hovering in the air! Such fun~

  7. Wow, it’s amazing how many hummingbirds visit your feeder. I bought a hummingbird feeder several years ago–but I don’t think that any hummingbirds ever found it.

    1. Tonight I counted 20!! I need the new feeder to get here quickly. They drain the current one twice a day. I think it is because we live in place filled with orchard flowers and essentially no people. So sorry about your feeder. Perhaps songbirds with wild seed?????

  8. How awesome that the birds feed from your hand now. Next thing they will be teaching you to fly backwards and upside down. I quite expect that! Just remember not to listen to them when they encourage you to eat two times your weight in nectar. It might not end well!

    1. Laughing…..still laughing!
      I could probably eat twice my body weight with no instruction necessary from the hummers! The flying upside down part might be more of a stretch though.
      Hilarious my friend and cheers ~

    1. I inadvertantly posted a wrong pic, so I am very glad you said this! You know I feel the same about you my friend and I thank you. Heading over to your blog now to see what you and Jack have been up too~

  9. Cindy, I have long had hummingbirds in my life and know I would miss them if they were not about. They do so enjoy lavender whether it is in California or here in France. However, I have never had one on my hand. That must have been a remarkable experience! Great photos as always.

  10. Liebe Cindy ja die Kolibri sind schon fasenierende Vรถgel und dann noch der lange Schnabel einfach schรถn einen schรถnen Dienstag und sei herzlichst gegrรผรŸt Klaus

  11. Great hummingbird captures, especially the first one. I didn’t know about their aggressiveness – interesting. And here all this time I just thought they were the happy monitors of the sugar water tray (which I understand we’re not supposed to use anymore). Nice. Ken

  12. Wow, this is as awesome as it gets – they have taken you in as a member of their family! How cool is that! I still can’t get over their gorgeous colors.

  13. I’m trying to imagine scientifically how they fly upside down. Do they do this with their wings stationary, while drifting on an air-current, or by pushing their wings downwards while moving upwards, or just flapping them at extra high speed and hoping for the best?

    I drive my husband mad with questions like this, as I did my school teachers many years ago. Hubbie always says “why can’t you just accept that’s what is, and not have to know the minute whys and wherefores?”

    PS You don’t have to answer my question, if you agree with my hubbie ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. I love your question! I have a very enquiring mind and I always want to know also. Here is the explanation:

      A hummingbird can rotate each of its wings in a circle, allowing them to be the only bird which can fly forwards, backwards, up, down, sideways or sit in sheer space. To hover, hummingbirds move their wings forward and backward in a repeated figure eight, much like the arms of a swimmer treading water. Hummingbirds can move instantaneously in any direction, start from its perch at full speed, and doesn’t necessarily slow up to land. Hummingbirds can even fly short distances upside down, a trick rollover they employ when being attacked by another bird.


  14. who knew they couldn’t walk or hop? That’s an interesting fact I will always remember. And Cindy–i have to share this awesome baby hummingbird and rescuer video with you. It will make you smile a mile wide…:)


  15. Your photos are simply stunning, and of one of my favorite subjects, too. Lovely.

    I agree, the ‘group shots’ are hard to come by. I once captured three together, but the movement of one blurred the photo. So glad to see your lovely birds and to hear they’ll sit on your hand. Amazing.

  16. I truly have! I used to have a little house in Cupertino/CA which had a small atrium like patio. I had two big hanging fuchsia plants. I used to get frequent visits from many hummingbirds. I was never able to see them as colorful as I see them in these photos (why?). Birds and I used to startle each other quite a bit. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. There are different species, cross breeding between species, different color patterns in young and mature birds, and in males and females. The colorful ones you see here are Anna’s. So glad you had the experience of living close with these beautiful creatures~

    1. Sometimes it is hard!!! I now have two feeders set up and I am going to need to take photos of them now…..lots at the feeder and less bickering! Cheers to you and thank you~

  17. They are totally adorable! And the photos are beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚ But these Humming birds…they don’t have any feet!!! lol ๐Ÿ˜‰ Or at least they’re so cute and tiny they are almost not there! lol It does make them look very endearing though!

  18. Would love to see a hummingbird fly upside down–hint, hint, Cindy. You are so blessed. Maybe someone can video you with hummingbirds on your hand. Thank you for the cool facts. {{{Hugs]}} Kozo

  19. Beautiful!
    I hope you will video you with the hand feeder, maybe then take still shots from it?
    I have no ideal if you can do that, I am still trying to figuring out my digital camera !
    But I look forward to seeing more photographs!
    Thank you for sharing…hummingbirds always make me smile..
    Take care…You Matter…

  20. Why yes I have and just recently, not only that but I have recently read of the same thing happening to others. I just wrote about the large numbers of hummingbirds in my Mesa, Az. backyard. I have never seen so many at the same time. I think its a good sign. Love your picture from the holler. ๐Ÿ˜€

  21. Reblogged this on Anything and Everything Possible 4 U and commented:
    These are absolute marvelous photo’s. I love hummingbird’s and have been attracting them with plants now they nest in the bushes and suck the nectar from the plants will try and put up the plant that they so love. They buzz my head all the time when I walk out the door and have only been able to capture one as it was feeding on a feeder a few years ago. will try to find that picture as well.

  22. Absolutely beautiful shots! I could learn a lot from you in taking pictures of these lovely birds. What camera did you use? Your shutter speed must be really fast. Gorgeous photos <3 Love it!

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  24. We have a couple of Hummer feeders and I’ve had many instances of them coming up right in my face to stare at me. It’s a little bit intimidating! They’re so full of energy and life. I love them and am so happy to have them grace our garden..
    Yay for hummers!

  25. The title of your post reminded me of a line from “To Have and Have Not”. Walter Brennan’s character would ask strangers, “Have you ever been stung by a dead bee?”

    1. “You know, you got to be careful of dead bees if you’re goin’ around barefooted, ’cause if you step on them they can sting you just as bad as if they was alive, especially if they was kind of mad when they got killed. I bet I been bit a hundred times that way.”

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