A ruby-throated hummingbird hovering near a feeder.

Ruby-throated hummingbird


We hadn’t seen a single hummingbird at our feeders all year, until one finally stopped by three weeks ago. A few days later, two were battling it out for control of my feeders. I watched the two chase each other around my feeders and trees for close to an hour recently. If you look closely, you’ll see a few red feathers hiding on this one’s throat, indicating that this is an immature male. Its rival for that sweet, sweet sugar water was either a female or another immature male.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are highly territorial. My guess is that the returning hummingbirds simply never found our feeders when they arrived in the spring, and stopped looking once they established their territories. These two most likely wore out their welcome in their parents’ territories and were recently chased out,