Last Updated on November 29, 2021 by Guillermina
If you’re a lover of these tiny beautiful birds, you must have noticed them chasing each other. Then you begin to wonder why do hummingbirds chase each other?
One way of attracting hummingbirds to around our yard is to put up feeders for them. These feeders are usually supplied with sugar-water solutions for these birds.
When these birds are attracted to around our yards or gardens, you may notice them chasing each other. What have you imagined to be the reason why these birds are sometimes in each other’s neck?
These birds most times are very welcoming towards each other and feed without so much trouble. However, at other times, you may notice some hostility. There is a plethora of reasons why these birds sometimes chase each other.
This is a piece on how these birds behave around each other and what could cause friction amongst them. The possible things that could be done to reduce the hostility that exists among these birds are also discussed.
Things You Should Know About Hummingbirds
Before we get into the reason for possible friction among these birds, let’s discuss some of their key attributes:
- They are unique birds: hummingbirds are particularly unique in their way of living, feeding pattern, and features. Some of their species are some of the smallest birds in the world, coming in different colors. It’s the only bird that can fly forward, backward, upwards, and downwards. Virtually in every direction.
- They can be attracted by hummingbird feeders: For those who are interested in watching these birds, they may be attracted to your gardens by placing feeders in strategic locations. These hummingbird feeders would contain a sugar-water solution which the birds feed on.
- They cannot be kept as pets: hummingbirds are species of birds that cannot be kept as pets. The reason for this is because of their feeding pattern, large nutrient requirement, and the tendency of harming themselves if kept indoors. For those interested in watching these wonderful birds, the best option is to attract them by placing their feeders and watching them feed.
- They are susceptible to predators: These birds as a consequence of their tiny size are highly susceptible to predators. Predators from snakes, cats, owls, spiders, etc, all pose threat to these birds.
- Migrating birds: hummingbirds are mostly migrating birds. After mating, hatching their eggs and nurturing their young ones, they prepare to migrate again.
Hummingbirds Chasing Each Other: Major Reasons Why Hummingbirds Chase Each Other
Hummingbirds, although they are mostly sweet and lovely birds, there are times when they aren’t so friendly to themselves. There are two major reasons why they chase each other:
1. Territorial hummingbird behavior to feeders or nectar
One of the predominant reasons why these lovely birds could be found chasing each other is when they are in their territorial behavior because of food sources.
These birds look tiny, but they have a big attitude. One of them is in the protection of their territory. Once they find a reliable food source, they tend to protect and fight for that food source.
The male hummers are often the ones that pick a feeding territory. This is because they are the ones that will migrate or arrive first before the female and juvenile hummers arrive. So, the male hummers arrive first and mark their feeding territory.
The Rufous hummers are the most common species in North America that tend to have more temper.
So, you may notice hummingbirds chase each other at your feeders or nectar flowers.
2. Mother hummingbird’s instinct
When the female hummingbirds lay eggs, they usually do everything within their power to protect their eggs. They may even go as far as charging other hummingbirds or bigger birds when doing this.
The mother hummingbird has an obligation to feeder her fragile little ones and feed herself too. So, once the female hummers see a reliable food source that is close to their nesting ground, they tend to mark that food source.
This saves the mother hummingbird from flying far away from her offspring in search of food. So, the mother hummingbirds will fight or chase each other for any accessible food source.
3. Hummingbird mating habits
Asides from fighting to defend their feeding territory, these tiny birds also chase each other sometimes when they are in the mating or play mood.
They are normally involved in a playful dance. It is the male hummers that do this mating display. This dance is usually embarked upon as a means of courting and winning the heart of the female hummer.
The mating display is very interesting and delightful to watch. Hummingbirds may even look like they are fighting and chasing each other while they are in their playful chase.
So when a male is in its mating mode, he tends to fly very high above the sky. Then he will plummet his wings straight down and align its colorful wings in accordance with the sun’s direct rays. He will then pull up just before impact.
The male hummingbird will chase off any other male he sees in sight just to increase his chance of winning the female he is enticing.
How To Reduce Aggression Among Hummingbirds
As we have seen from above, hummingbirds are very aggressive in the defense of their territory. In a bid to reduce this aggression, the following should be done:
- Provide multiple feeders: hang more than one feeder. This will give other hummingbirds more chance of getting reliable food sources. Also, extra feeders will attract more hummers and the aggressive hummingbird won’t be able to defend or chase away too many hummers.
- Spacing the feeders: One way to reduce the possible tension that may arise between hummingbirds is to space their feeders. Putting feeders as far as possible will help reduce aggression.
- Plant nectar-producing flowers: when you plant nectar-producing lowers alongside the feeders in your garden, you will be providing these birds with many options to feed on. Hence, this may help reduce the chase hummingbird do give each other.
- Find a perching spot: try to find the perching spot of the aggressive hummingbird and remove it. The aggressive hummingbird won’t be able to monitor or have a better view of its territorial feeding spot.
Final Say On Why Do Hummingbirds Chase Each Other
The beloved hummingbirds are not always nice every time as they look. These birds possess some territorial and aggressive behavior that may be pretty bothersome.
The species in North America that has more temper is usually the Rufous hummingbird.
Hummingbirds do chase each other because of reasons such as feeding territory, breeding territory, mating display, and so on.
The male hummers will chase any other hummingbirds in their feeding territory. The female on the other hand will mostly guide her nest and offspring.
Eunice is a passionate lover of hummingbirds and all things nature. She loves to observe and study the tiny birds, learning about their unique behaviors and unique features. She has written a number of articles about hummingbirds and their habitats, which have been featured in a variety of publications. In her spare time, she enjoys visiting hummingbird sanctuaries and going on bird–watching trips in her local area. She also volunteers with local wildlife rescue organizations, helping to rehabilitate injured birds. When she’s not outdoors, Eunice can be found writing articles, creating bird–inspired art, and playing the flute.