This is the first season that I've ever actually taken the time to sit and watch hummingbirds or attempt to learn more about them in depth. It is also the first year I've ever taken photos of them. Today I watched as our bully hummer chased all others away, except the one female we have. But, until today I had never observed a hummer try to "sneak in"... I had a little laugh, but at the same time I felt sorry for the other poor little hummer...what am I going to do with Mr. Bully?
Not long ago, I had up to a dozen little Hummers jetting around the feeders. Now, there are only 3 or 4. *Sigh* I've read that it isn't unusual for these bird numbers to fluctuate according to food sources and area. But, the numbers can also change when there is a dominant male chasing away all others. So...I wonder now. Mr. Bully is our dominant Hummer. He perches on the tree near the front porch until a stranger appears, then he darts toward the other and hastily chases it away. He wants all the nectar, no sharing! This behavior is typical of hummingbirds. I'm going to try a couple different antics to see how they work out. I've read that clustering hummingbird feeders together attracts more hummers and the dominant one becomes unable to chase them all away, too much effort. I've also read that spacing them apart so they can not see each other helps. We shall see.
I like the article by Richard Day, posted on his Daybreak Blog: http://www.daybreakimagery.com/blog/2011/06/21/dealing-with-hummingbird-feeder-wars/. The method of attracting and keeping hummingbirds makes more sense as written in the article.
I put together a little "story" about what I observed in my front yard today:
The coming days/weeks will reveal the best method for this area...I'd like to have a few of the cute little hummers hang around this summer :)