Rufous Hummingbirds - The Bully of My Hummingbird Feeders

Posted by Nancy on 10/2/2009 to Learn More About Birds

This time of year the hummingbird migration is on and we have had lots of Rufous Hummingbirds visiting our hummingbird feeders.

I have to confess, sometimes I get really aggravated at the Rufous Hummingbird. We have had Black-chinned Hummingbirds here all summer. They have nested in our yard and entertained us with their acrobatic flight. Now migration is on and that little tiny bully known as the Rufous has managed to intimidate our summer long visitors. We have put out more Best 1 hummingbird feeders out of sight of each other, but the Rufous has managed to find a vantage point on the roof of our house so that he can see both the west and south side of our house, and he feels he needs 10 feeders for himself.

Tom has reminded me that the Rufous has the longest migratory journeys of any bird in the world, as measured by body size. At just over 3 inches long, its roughly 3,900-mile movement (one-way) from Alaska to Mexico is equivalent to 78,470,000 body lengths and that they need their strength to make such a migration.

Tom also reminds me that the Rufous has been documented chasing chipmunks away from their nest, so that they have to have a fierce nature to protect their young. Also, that they beat their wings 52-62 times a second, so they have to have a great deal of energy.

Tom has valid points, but still, does the Rufous Hummingbird need to dominate all 10  bird feeders? I think I'm still a little aggravated with him.

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