Each hummer wants this plant all to themself.
Between sips of nectar, they are constantly battling for dominion.
The plant is a blooming Century Plant or Agave Americana, that is the largest I have ever seen, big enough to feed hundreds of hummers. It is well over thirty feet tall and as wide as a telephone pole
Century Plants produce many offspring in their lives and we have lots of them at The Holler. You may notice the plant looks like a giant asparagus stalk. This is because it is related to the asparagus family. The Centurion stands guard by our front gate.
Other birdy pollinators, like orioles, love the nectar too, but they are far more civilized about sharing. The most they do is chatter endlessly at each other.
Bees are attracted en-mass to the centurion which blooms only once in a lifetime, and many 1000’s of bees are busily gathering pollen in the huge masses of flowers.
Century plants are not accurately named. They each live 10-30 years. Soon the entire plant will die, and the hummers will find something else to fight over.
Cheers to you from our giant pollen creator and the beautiful bickering pollinators~
244 thoughts on “Holler Hummers Battle The Centurion~”
Those are amazing action shots!
Thank you! You make me happy I posted.
I’m usually here after everyone else. It was a treat to be first.
It was a treat for me to have you first. Be well my friend <3
Interesting post and great pics Cindy.
Thanks Gary & hope you are healed and better now.
Not quite healed yet…but getting there slowly.
Hummers are so small but so mighty. Apparently they were absent when the concept of sharing was taught in bird school. Great shots!
Exactly! They ditched school that day to go fight in the parking lot…..
Amazing photos! You really capture nature at its best! 🙂
Aww, most appreciated! Thank you.
Thank you for sharing this beauty with us! 🙂
What a remarkable tree! And what a feast for hummers. They must come from miles around when a tree blooms.
Every pollinator swarms these blooms. I would take more photos but it is at the top of our driveway which is very steep and I have to cran my neck up to take the photos. Basically, I’m a wimp…..
That I know is not true! But craning your neck is not worth it for another shot. You made a good decision! Will you get to see the bears?
I am so excited, soon……. I’ve been waiting a long time for this.
Such beautiful photos of the hummingbirds and tree!
I am very happy you enjoyed & thank you for letting me know <3
Fantastic photos, it must be exciting to witness that live action!
It is pretty amazing. The centurion is like a beacon calling all pollinators!
Fabulous photographs Cindy, a shining light to this dismal day over here in Geelong
Happy to share some sun with you. If all goes well I will be in Oz soon, don’t want to jinx it by talking about it though which happened last time….
Oh , it’s bitterly cold down here in the south of Oz-land at the moment….
Hard for me to imagine. I have only visited in the summer. Stay warm.
Geelong is a long way south ❄️😊
You are lucky to live there. South is where things get interesting.
I love the photos! The Century Plant is very exotic to my eyes. I can’t imagine hummingbirds fighting. They look so dainty when glimpsed outside my window.
Some of them are ruthless fighters, and sometimes injure each other. When they collide in mid-air you can hear the woof which is amazing since they weigh as much as a dime. Most hummers are content to just drink and avoid conflict, but there are always bullies. They remind me a bit of human beings in this way.
I had no idea!
There are fascinating creature <3
They are fascinating creatures <3
Wow, those images of the Hummingbirds are amazing. You truly are a gifted bird photographer, Cindy.
Awww, you are truly a lovely friend. Thank you!
Territorial little sweethearts! Yet, they are so very tiny.
A Napoleon complex, perhaps?
Definitely Napoleonic! And these tiny itsy bitsy birdies migrate thousands of miles twice each year crossing The Gulf of Mexico.
😀 😀 Sweet as nectar!
Just like you <3
Oh my goodness, Cindy, what a story and what even more amazing images!
I had never even heard of the centurion, and yet you have one guarding your gate.
Totally awesome. Thanks again. for posting.
They are truly impressive plants and they look like the Jolly Green Giants asparagus dinner!
What a gorgeous flower structure, it reminds me of bonsai trees. It sounds huge… are there pups to carry on once this one goes?
Oh yes there are pups. We planted around 10 or so originally, and then replanted many of the pups. It has been over eleven years now at The Holler and we have hundreds. The only bummer is the base has a diameter of around 10 feet, and lethal barbs. This is the first one to die. Removal will not be pretty.
That first picture is my favorite. And the Centurion looks like it’s from Whoville! 🙂
Yep, and I am Cindy Lou Hoo. (Actually I am Cindy Lee, but I grew up near Suess’s house so it’s close enough…..)
It’s perfect enough!!!!!!
How interesting to see the agave and the birds feeding on it. The hummers at my house are also very territorial, especially one adult male.
There are always a few highly aggressive hummers. We have large populations. Once the population becomes large enough, the aggression abates. But The Centurion is a new bloomer and hence the battle continues for who will dominate. It is a draw at this point between four birds.
Your photos of the hummers and the “asparagus trees” are truly wonderful. Thanks for sharing them. 🙂
Thank you more for appreciating.
Yay! More hummers. These are gorgeous Cindy. I especially love the last one.😍
I love hummingbirds ! But, I think our resident hummngbirds have abandoned us this summer. I wonder why.
That’s puzzling. If you have a feeder up, and disinfect it regularly to avoid bacterial/viral contamination, which I know you do, because I know what you do, the answer might be, that so many people in the Americas have fallen in love with the previously endangered hummers, and are feeding them. This backyard feeding actually brought their numbers up from dismal to way better. So they might be distracted. You might want to increase your sugar ratio to bit greater than one in four, and dye your feeder red, just for a few days, so they can learn that your feeder is where they belong <3
I always disinfect my feeder. Wait, are hummingbirds endangered ??????
Populations were declining in California, but backyard feeders brought their numbers up. Here are a list of the world’s critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable hummingbird species:
Hummingbirds are negatively impacted by extensive development and loss of habitat, especially those species that occupy very specialized niche ecosystems.
Oh what wonderful photos. And I was definitely intrigued to earn about the Century plant!
Love to you talented lady <3
Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
Cindy Knoke’s pictures of Hummers fighting over pollen from the giant Century plant.
Be well sweet lady <3
As always, Cindy, a treat. Back in my Sacramento days, my yard was filled with lavender and with hummingbirds. Funny but, the same neighbors who complained about my lavender wall, complained they only saw hummingbirds when they came by my house… <3
I shouldn’t be surprised that you had a neighbor that complained about your lavender. I had a neighbor that once told me my flower garden violated the HOA regs which specified I could only have ‘ground cover,’ in my front yard, no flowers. Honestly, some people will find fault everywhere, but in themselves…..
You certainly have that right, in the end… 😉
Wunderschöne Bilder! Danke Cindy…
Sie sind sehr nett Ernst. Vielen Dank und ein schönes Wochenende!
Beautiful Hummer shots and what an incredible plant!
Happy you enjoyed & thank you!
Grazie mille <3
You are a magnificent photographer, Cindy. Today’s series is spectacular spectacular ¡bravo!
I am touched by your kindness Isabel. Thank you & cheers to you <3
wie immer, wunderschön, alles Gute wünsche ich und einen schönen Tag, Klaus
Vielen dank mein lieber Freund und frohe Wochenende <3
danke, ist ja nett
How sweet your captures are Cindy. I take 200 a day and never know which ones are worthy of prime time 🙂
Pretty much every photo you’ve taken, that I have seen, are worthy of primetime Eunice. You are a quite gifted lady <3
Thanks Cindy guess I am just surrounded by shots waiting to be grabbed lol love the effort you and your black box get xo
I have never seen or even heard of a tree like that before. Fascinating and wonderful how it takes care of so many little critters. I also didn’t realize how “mean” those little hummers could be! We have a couple feeders out back but I haven’t seen them fighting! You’ve taken such beautiful photos! Have a fabulous weekend!
Most hummers are peaceable, but there are always a handful in any group that are aggressive. They remind me of humans in this way. Thank you for your thoughtful comments Linda & be well my friend <3
Even more stunning than usual
Thank you sincerely Derrick.
A few years ago Matthaei Botanical Gardens (here in Ann Arbor) had an agave plant that bloomed. They had to make a hole in the ceiling for it to finish growing. I did a post on it – just beautiful 🙂
Oh my, that would have been quite the sight to see!
Here is my link to the agave plant in Ann Arbor http://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2014/07/18/80-year-old-agav…-in-ann-arbor-mi/
I tried to send the link but it didn’t work. You can search “agave” on my site and it will bring up the post 🙂
happiness is knowing the bees are doing well there…sends hugs xxxo
We are bee haven at The Holler. They are here in legions and we love them.
What a marvellous all purpose plant to be able to offer pleasure and sustenance to so many, including humans. 🙂
It is amazing to watch as the stalk grows in a matter of months and then attracts so many pollinators.
Great photos and impressive information, Cindy! What color does the century plant’s flowers turn in full bloom? And when it dies, do you have to dig it up?
You are seeing the blooms. They last for several months and are yellowish-white. After the bloom, the stalk and the base which looks like a cactus and is around 10 feet in diameter will both die and the plant must be dug up which is a big job. Juvenile offspring surround the base and they will continue to grow.
Oh, I didn’t know because we don’t have them here. Thanks for educating me!
Well, you educate me too, so the respect is reciprocal <3
You captured some excellent shots there Cindy. My mother use to have a Century Plant in her garden too.
They are amazing, but they die after they bloom.
They must have a lovely nectar.
I think you must be right <3
Your photos are always stunning, Cindy!
You are very thoughtful. Thank you!
I second that!
I love bloggers <3 Thank you.
Absolutely fantastic pictures, Cindy! Thanks for sharing them.
Thank you much more for your kind appreciation!
I love the hummers! You have some amazing photos here.
I <3 people who <3 hummers!
Your place is amazing, so much beautiful wildlife. Just gorgeous.
Ahh, thank you! I was just salivating over your chicken flautas…….
Glad you liked the post. 😊
The Century plant is so neat, and your Hummer and Oriole images are stellar!
Very pleased you enjoyed & cheers to you!
Delightful backstory Cindy. I didn’t know about centurion plants and their long life. I bet this giant one is home to a feeding feast! Enjoy….
Thanks Brad & have an awesome weekend!
This is the very first time that I have heard about this magnificent tree! I learn something new every time I stop by for a visit. Brilliant photos!👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
Hugs to you Rebecca <3
Simply fabulous photography, Cindy!
Thank you very much Peter.
What gorgeous images, Cindy! ❤️
Your photos are always stunning, but these really take the biscuit! Gorgeous.
What a beautiful and fascinating Century Plant or Agave Americana! What a pity it only blooms once in a lifetime!
And then, as soon as the blooms dry up, it dies, but not before it creates beauty.
Fascinating birds. Lovely photos all of them 🙂
Thank you & be well <3
Thank you Anna.
Wow, 30 feet tall! That’s certainly bigger than any century plant I have ever seen, Cindy. As for hummers: Hummers will be hummers, will be hummers. 🙂 –Curt
Exactly! And in this way, hummers who are hummers, and will always be hummers, show us the futility of human conflict. And they are much luckier than us, they can fly away.
And they don’t have bombs. 🙂
Exactly. Unlike us.
Wow. So beautiful!
Thank you. I think the beauty might be here for a reason, to make us notice.
Fantastic shots, Cindy! Very impressive! 🙂
Love to you Tom & thank you.
So well observed, so magnificently captured. Thank you, Cindy.
Thank you much more for letting me meet you <3
Cindy, this is magnificent and oh, so beautiful!
Oh Jennie, thank you sincerely <3
You’re very welcome, Cindy. 🙂
Learned something new again today. I knew hummers were very territorial but did not know about the tree. I used to have lots of feeders in my back yard and still they would fight over the nectar. Silly birds. Great photos, as always.
Yes. You get it. But I am always so struck, the silly birds can fly away from us and be perfectly fine. Since I was a little kid, I didn’t get why they were so favored to be able to do this. I wish I could.
These were beguiling and enrapturing.
But I’ not jealous of your amazing photographicalisationing skills, just love the results.
You are a sweet man and I wish I could come and visit you. I would bring you food cooked at The Holler by yours truly, and flowers grown at The Holler by yours truly. But, I would know enough to ask you what you might like to eat. I can cook almost anything, and I would cook it for you.
Bless you, Cindy. ♥
We can dream. (Well I do, hehehe!)
The Century plants look amazing.🙂
It is amazing. When it grows it’s flower so stalk suddenly, and spectacturaly, because it is going to die, you are amazed! It is such a beautiful swan song for every living thing.
Your beautiful photographs never cease to amaze me Cindy.
Best wishes and kind regards, do hope you are keeping well.
Thank you for your thoughtfulness Ian & all the best to you.
What an amazing plant! Such beautiful photos too!
Thank you Emma & hope all is well with you <3
Wonderful pictures. 😁
Much appreciated & Thank you!
That is a very nice picture of the tall plant. I am sure those little flying fellows love it too and no wonder they want it all by themselves.
Thanks my friend & hope all is well with you.
Such amazing little birds and those are spectacular looking trees too Cindy 🙂
Mother Nature rocks <3
Fantastic photographs, Cindy!
Thank you & so pleased you enjoyed them!
impressive photo skills, cindy!
glad the hummers won 🙂
Muchas gracias! The hummers are masters at zero sum games.
wow, thank you, cindy 🙂
That is still a long time for a plant. I love the birds and bees who visit there and help continue the cycle. 🙂
It is wonderful. The Holler hums with pollinators.
Wowww. Fascinating, as always, with drop-dead, beautiful photos. Hummin’ in the Holler, indeed.
Thank you John & be well my friend~
Wow! Perfect Shots
Merci beaucoup mon ami~
What an amazing plant. And you pictures are superb. With the blue sky, just a feast for the eyes.
So kind & so appreciated! Have a wonderful week <3
Pingback: Holler Hummers Battle The Centurion~ Cindy Knoke | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo
Mille grazie Sue & cheers too!
Thank you so much. What a fabulous ‘nature story.’ The photography is outstanding, the humming birds adorable, despite their warring ways, and what a striking, unusual tree! x…
Such a thoughtful, kind comment. Thank you & cheers to you~
Cindy – You’ve put my admiration for humingbirds into the photos with perfection! – Susan
I <3 people who <3 hummingbirds!
Just so beautiful Cindy 💚 such a gift to see 🤓☺️ thank you!
Love the hummingbirds! To me they always deliver a message of happiness. Doesn’t just looking at them make you feel rejuvenated? I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! <3
After watching hummingbirds all my life, here is what I can tell you, they are spiritual blessings <3
Your hummer pictures are so wonderful and fascinating!
I <3 people who <3 hummers.
Cindy, thank you for more lovely photographs!
Thank you Charles for being such a wonderful friend.
Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
Here are more lovely photographs from Cindy Knoke!
Honored. Thank you.
Oh wow! That capture of the hummer fluttering its little wings – priceless 🙂 x
Thanks my friend, hummingbirds are priceless <3
That’s a seriously cool tree, to just have hanging around in the backyard. And to have a gang of hummers doing their aerial acrobatics amongst the blooms is just icing on the cake.
Life is beautiful everywhere. Thank you Dave.
What great photos! You have to be quick to get those.
Thank you very much. The hummers keep my reflexes quick!
This is fabulous, Cindy! Wonderful post. Your shots are wonderful–so crisp and clear. I didn’t know the hummers were “aggressive” about their source of nectar. Interesting.
Beautiful, tiny, and highly argumentative. Thanks so much Patti & cheers to you~
You too, Cindy. I hope you’re enjoying the last bit of the summer.
Our resident and migrating birds are already loading up for winter…. hmmm, mid-August? Seems a bit early, but many of our sunflowers went to seed two weeks ago. Nature must know something that the weather channel does not. – Oscar
That is interesting. Weather patterns are definitely in flux and birds do tend to know things well before we do.
Knowing how quickly hummers zip around, Cindy I’m astounded at your skill as a photographer. Both the clarity and the compositions are amazing. I enjoyed learning about the centurion plants too. Hugs on the wing.
I have the most awesome friends <3 Thank you Teagan & hugs back to you~
Why is it they do that? Especially when there is enough for the whole bunch
Just gorgeous, Cindy. Hummingbirds are such beautiful birds.
They are something aren’t they! Love to you Rob.
Thank you, Cindy.
It is! And our only job is to not mess it up.
Terrific photos – it’s amazing how still their bodies are when their wings are a blur of speed.
Ah, thank you! Life is so amazing, and so much of it happens so quickly, we can’t see it.
Amazing series. I like the pictures a lot.
You make me happy I posted. Thank you & cheers to you.
These are stunning, Cindy. I have never moved quickly enough to get a single such photo. But today there was a rabbit lying out on our lawn, cosy as you please, not caring if we took a photo.
I’ve never seen this Century plant before, isn’t nature’s patterns amazing.
Mother Nature rocks the planet and all of us lucky enough to be on it <3
Bonjour mon Ami , Amie ET BELLE CINDY
Ma richesse est mon amitié
C’est à toi que je la donne
Elle est pour moi
Un gage de bonne foi
Accepte ce présent
C’est le cadeau le plus important
Qu’on puisse faire à notre époque
C est avec ces petits mots que je passe te souhaiter
Une bonne journée , une belle semaine et plein de bonnes choses au sein de ta demeure
Amazing photos. the hummers are little rascals, aren’t they, but so cute. I’ve never seen a Century Plant before your photos.
I am happy you enjoyed and appreciate you for telling me.
So good to see your hummers at the holler. And an oriole. We have some high up in the chopos, poplars by the now dry stream.
I can’t believe how much where you live, looks like where I live. I am always struck by this when I see your photos.
Interesting observation, but we don’t have hummers and coyotes. Just read Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer. That was so close to perhaps the different kinds of rural folk here in our area of Spain. There were wolves here in the the 1950s but Franco pursued persecution policies. There are big cattle quintas on dehesa land, which at least keeps Spain well populated with trees.
I thought there still were wolves in Spain about 2-3000. People even hunt them. I watched this movie a while back which is a fictional depiction of an earlier time in Spain with wolves and people living in the wild mountains that gave me an entirely different view of Spain than what I am accustomed to. I was fascinated by the mountain towns and started looking them up after the movie:
Yes, the wolves are in Northern Portugal and Cantabria. A few in the eastern Sierra Morena around Jaen. I suppose I mean most other parts and our own region will have lived with wolves till not so long ago. On a recent trip to a cheese making the owner showed the wolf collars the great big Mastin dogs would wear. The use of these dogs is still encouraged in the North. No one asked the government for compensation then!
Amazing history and still happening!
Thanks for link, I will look up.
They are fierce little birds!
So fierce and strong, and so utterly tiny, it is unbelievable.
These are great Cindy!!
Thank you <3