Why do hummingbirds fight so much?

April 1, 2009
Hummingbirds can be fiercely territorial. Here a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird tries to chase away a juvenile. Photo by Deborah Bifulco via Birdshare. Hummingbirds can be fiercely territorial. Here a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird tries to chase away a juvenile. Photo by Deborah Bifulco via Birdshare.
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Hummingbirds are aggressive for a good reason—they can’t afford to share flowers during times when not many blossoms are available because they may have to wander a long way after nectar is depleted. This aggression is so deeply ingrained that they just can’t figure out that feeders are different.

Overall, you’ll feed far more hummingbirds by setting out four tiny one-port feeders than one giant eight-port one. Spread them out and the birds won’t have to see one another, arousing their territoriality. You’ll get to watch them through more windows, and they’ll be much happier, too.

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