Hummingbirds are all fun and cute until you realize that some of them are aggressive and bully other birds around them. If you’re a feeder you would face several difficulties while feeding the bully hummingbird and the trouble gets doubled when they try to bully, you as well as other birds around them.
Yes, they may seem small and cute to our eyes, but hummingbirds are proven to get aggressive at times. New visitors might find their bully behavior entertaining but the yard owner is aware of all the bullies they face while feeding other hummingbirds.
You will find one or more of these hummingbirds in a group but let us talk about a positive thing. There are several ways that can calm down your bully hummingbirds, let us discuss some of them.
Why are Hummingbirds Aggressive?
If you have a hummingbird feeder in your yard, you need to understand the reason behind the aggressiveness of your birds and accordingly act. The hummingbirds get aggressive when some other bird claims and rests in their territory.
We as humans also get aggressive when someone else tries to encroach on our space. Similarly, hummingbirds do not prefer anyone around their territorial area.
Are Hummingbirds Territorial?
As there are tons of hummingbird species, some of them are more aggressive than others. If we get more specific, the Rufous Hummingbird is very well-known for its aggressive behavior although territorial behavior is stronger in a male hummingbird.
Fighting for their territory is a common behavior in a male hummingbird but the fun fact here is, all the nest is built by a female hummingbird. But here, we are talking about the space where they live currently, or they are kept by the people who take care of them. They might get territorial towards other hummingbirds.
How to Recognize Territorial Aggression?
There are numerous ways that hummingbirds present their bully behavior towards their feeders and fellow hummingbirds.
A territorial hummingbird will make a loud, fast chirping sound to make the other hummingbird realize that this territory belongs to them. They also make a buzzing sound to alert their fellow humming.
The body language of a hummingbird says a lot about their aggressive behavior. They try to change the postures of their body by making it look larger in size to frighten other hummingbirds. The Rufous Hummingbird flair their bright-colored gorget to scare another humming while other species may spread their wings or raise their feathers.
This is the most violent option a hummingbird chooses to scare another hummingbird, but it is also the most usual option they choose. They will choose this option when nothing works to scare the bird trying to enter their territorial place. The bully hummingbird will attack the invader by using his talons or bill and this can result in serious injury to other hummingbirds. This behavior may also lead to the death of the fellow hummingbird if he does not leave the territory.
This is the most common behavior in a bully hummingbird. If the intruder has not left the place yet, the bully Hummingbird will chase it off to another part but away from his territory.
Behaviors like aggressive sounds and changes in body language are the starter pack of their bully behavior and should be taken as warning signs by the intruder. So, make sure you keep all the hummingbirds separated from each other’s territory.
An aggressive hummingbird will appear in front of the intruder and then fly high in the sky above them and dive down straight at the intruder.
The base of the dive is marked by the hummingbird before he decides to dive. He marks the dive with a very sharp chirp sound from its tail and feather position. The sound that the hummingbird makes before diving acts as a warning to the intruder to leave his territory.
How to Stop Territorial Behaviour of Hummingbirds?
Increase the Number of Feeders
There is an old thumb rule to address the bully hummingbirds is to separate their feeders from each other by giving each of them a different feeder, so they have one of their own. This will help you feed them better and will avoid conflict between them while it will also calm the aggressive hummingbirds.
Create Clusters Between Hummingbirds
Having more than one feeder in your yard can lead to more aggressiveness among the hummingbirds as they would not want to share their food with other hummingbirds.
But there are chances that more bullies would be encouraged by placing bird feeders at the different places. The real and proven solution to bully hummingbirds is to add more bird feeders to your already existing feeders and place them in clusters all over your yard.
Place feeders Where they Perch.
If you have recognized the hummingbirds that are aggressive then try to place their feeders where they perch so they will start claiming their feeders close to their perch. This will restrict them to be territorial towards their place and will leave other feeders for other hummingbirds.
Inviting More Hummingbirds to Your Yard
This way you will be creating more feeding areas for your hummingbirds which help them stay calm and will also keep them away from each other so the dominant hummingbird would not harm its other fellow hummingbirds.
A positive thing of placing your hummingbirds in clusters will allow other hummingbirds to your yard by the sound of the existing humming in your yard. This way you will be attracting more hummingbirds to your yard, so you have a yard filled with cute little hummingbirds.
Curbing Hummingbird’s Aggression
While it is entertaining and fascinating to see a hummingbird showing his aggression, but it is obviously not for the other birds in your yard or other hummingbirds. It is so unfair for the visitor birds of your yard that get to feel all the bully because of one bully hummingbird.
There are very few to minimum ways to stop the bully hummingbirds, but the most effective ways are:
- Feeder Spacing
- Increased Number of Feeders
- Feeder Placement
- Perch Position
Find out the Root Cause
If one of your hummingbirds is getting too bullied or aggressive towards your other birds or fellow hummingbirds, you need to find the cause for their bully nature or why exactly the hummingbird is upset.
Many times, hummingbirds are territorial which may cause aggression, or predator hummingbird, another songbird, and cat can be the cause for their aggression. Getting rid of that stress and aggressiveness will help in calming the bully hummingbird.
Getting Rid of the Root Cause
As discussed previously, the root cause can either be the territorial nature of the hummingbird or they do not like being around other animals or birds. So, in this case, you can try avoiding other animals around them.
Territorial hummingbirds can be calmed by giving them a separate feeder and space to play around the yard. Perch position can be changed, and you can also increase the number the feeders.
It is a Wrap!
Hummingbirds are at the end very cute, tiny, and lovable creatures that need our care but sometimes they go aggressive and bully other creatures which may cause trouble.
However, they can be taken care of by applying all the measures discussed in this article, so you have a calm hummingbird in your yard.
One thing you need to make sure of before applying all the measures to stop the aggressiveness of hummingbirds is, to clean your yard more often.
When you increase the number of feeders in your garden, the number of bacteria and germs would increase and can spoil the nectar from the feeders. To save the nectar from getting spoiled, you need to perform frequent cleaning.
Also, it is not necessary to completely fill the feeders until they are completely empty as the empty feeder will be a sign that there are other hummingbirds visiting your yard.