Mortal Combat!

Notice the hummer spearing another in the head, amazingly I have never seen a hummer seriously hurt from the sparring although I imagine they could be. I certainly hear the sound of their airborne impacts, and see the missing and displaced feathers.
This guy is waiting to spear the guy from above who is about to attack him! Hummingbirds move incredibly quickly, but when they are in attack mode they move at warp-speed.
You can see evidence of the airborne impacts in the ruffled feathers.
Some seem disproportionately harassed.
Others position themselves for advantangeous attack!
The majority though avoid the fray and remain untouched. I suspect their aerial evasion techniques are even more evolved than their attack skills. They are simply phenomonal fliers.
This is of course how I prefer to see the hummers! Peaceful and radiant.
Cheers to you from the occasionally bickersome, but always beautiful, Holler Hummers~

190 thoughts on “Mortal Combat!

  1. Ok, Cuz…, I had a ruby throat that came to the yard/flowers every day…, until I put out a feeder. Haven’t seen him/her for weeks now. Did I offend it or something??? Your pics of the hummers alre always a study in detail and are beautiful. πŸ™‚

    • I’m stumped…Are you mixing sugar with water, 1/4 ratio? Are you using a standard feeder? You can put some drops of red food dye into the mixture until the birds find and start using your feeder and then stop the dye as it is better for the birdies.

  2. Cindy – You are an amazing photographer. Those hummers almost popped off my screen. I still have to coax the hummers here. I believe I’m doing everything possible, including have the hummer misters going day and night both in front and out back. The lavender and wild flowers took a heavy hit this past winter but I’ve replanted everything. Now I’m playing the waiting game.

    • Oh I hope you are successful! I know you have a lot of bird knowlelge so there can’t be a problem with your technique. Hope they start sippin’ soon! Good luck~

  3. I had no idea that they had ‘behavioural problems’, Cindy! Such tiny and beautiful creatures being aggressive seems so strange. Thank you for sharing, again πŸ™‚

  4. I did not know hummingbirds would be so vicious to each other. That must have hurt getting speared in the head. Beautiful pictures.

    • Merci beaucoup! I have never seen a hummingbirds get seriously hurt from the sparring, which does not mean it doesn’t happen. I have seen hummingbirds hurt by flying into a window in the middle of their sparring but they recovered.

  5. what a fresh framing of these altogether stellar birdeez. The intricate detail–as noted by thoughtful caption–really added to the “in the eye” of the storm feeling. I had no idea they speared each other, though I suppose that makes good sense. And this from a woman with 2 silo sized feeders…

    aside: I have the 2 giganter feeders since they ARE so territorial about the feeders, as if the silo isn’t enough for the tiny fellas–and notice when I go outside to use my Stairmaster, or just read on the patio, the less dominant birds try to cadge drinks then–but the itinerant bird is quick to chase ’em off, even if he/she then won’t linger to eat…

    sometimes they are all very bold, and will stay in handfuls when I work out…

    really great post. You could BE Google for nature, I swear…

    • Wait! I am stuck on the concept that your stair master is outside. What genius! how come I never thought of this? We have a exercise room, that is also my husband’s wine storage room. I NEVER go in this room. What a concept to move the eliptical trainer OUTSIDE! I might actually use it! Plus the hummers would get a kick out of it. I want to come to your house and take a photo series of you on your stairmaster with the hummers! Priceless~

      • :mrgreen: <<I'm ready for my close-up Mrs. De Mille πŸ˜‰ Go for it, CK! I even had a weather cover custom made for it–like an outdoor grill drop cloth…but bulkier! (in fact the best folk to approach about such things–people involved with outdoor furniture covers)

      • Oooooh, I am sending this comment to my hubby for a honey-do request!!! He seems skeptical, but I am not. It will amuse the wildlife and me as well!!! πŸ˜‰

  6. Mercy, I had NO IDEA hummers were so wild!! We rarely see more than two at a time at our feeder, so all appears calm. Thanks for capturing another side of nature!

  7. Birds can be really aggressive with one another. The other day, I saw three magpies laying into another of their kind in mid-flight, scattering feathers everywhere. They were making such a din, too.

  8. Beautiful pictures Cindy! And I can just imagine that warp speed, they are very fast little birds, probably where some of the ideas for fairies came from, I believe they have the ability of warp speed too!! πŸ˜‰

  9. Thank you for following! You have beautiful images here, I have never seen a hummingbird myself, precious little things, why they have to fight so fiercely?

    • Welcome! Ornithologists would say they are territorial. I suspect they just fly so well they love the challenge. I am in awe of your photos! Cheers to you and thank you too~

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