[CT Birds] Hummingbird wars

BAPTIST, Thomas TBAPTIST at audubon.org
Wed Aug 4 10:27:41 EDT 2010

Hummingbird activity at our feeders is increasing, with more than six different ruby-throats visiting regularly.  Yesterday, my wife and I watched as the "alpha" male nearly killed another male.  While perched on the feeder, the lesser male was aggressively attacked by the alpha male, which poked with its beak the head and back of the smaller bird, leaving the poor thing handing upside down with its legs still grasping the feeder's perch.  We approached the feeder and the bird was limp, its beak and eyes open.  I up-righted the bird with my index finger, and after a few seconds, it weakly flew to a nearby tree where it was again attacked by the alpha male.  The two flew off into another yard.  The alpha male visited the feeder this morning, but not the lesser male.  Hummers are known to be feisty, but is this degree of aggressive behavior common?

Tom Baptist

Executive Director and Vice President
Audubon Connecticut
613 Riversville Road
Greenwich, CT  06831
(203) 869-5272 - phone
(203) 869-4437 - fax
tbaptist at audubon.org<mailto:tbaptist at audubon.org>

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