[Tweeters] Unusual Anna's Hummingbird Feeding Behavior

G M ARCHAMBAULT gm72125 at bellsouth.net
Wed Nov 24 18:23:22 PST 2021

The late Bob Sargent, who trained many bird banders here in Alabama and around the U.S., and was Alabama's master bander, once told me that MASSING hummingbird feeders was preferable to spacing them out, and this is borne out by my experience.  The hummers seem to tolerate their compeers more readily if the feeders are clustered together.  When I lived in CA years ago, I had 4 feeders, one on each side of the house; each would be commandeered by a dominant male, who would allow females to feed, but not the other males.  Nowadays here in Alabama, the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds definitely mass around clustered feeders.  I'd encourage those with multiple feeders to experiment with feeder placement and try positioning multiple feeders close together.  I do put several in remote corners to accommodate the ones that get bullied.  I get so many in the fall, I need air traffic control, and even got an Allen's Hummingbird recently.  Happy Thanksgiving, Tweeters!  -Ken Archambault, Birmingham, Alabama On Wednesday, November 24, 2021, 06:15:08 PM CST, BARBARA WHEELER <barbarawheelerphotography at comcast.net> wrote:

We have fed Anna's hummingbirds year round for 35 years, from the north sound to the south sound.  This fall, their behavior is extraordinarily different.
Anna's are so territorial, it's only been an occasional thing to see more than one sit on a feeder at a time.  However, this year, we've had to hang up two additional feeders (three within a few feet of each other) because of all of the activity.  We've not only had four on the feeder at one time, we've had several occasions where two sat on the same flower and shared and once had six on a feeder with four flowers.
We first thought they must be all juveniles.  However, we have females, juveniles and adult males all feeding together on the feeders.  At times, we've had three full feeders and more birds in the air.  We've never seen anything like this outside of Arizona.
We're going through a gallon of (homemade) hummingbird nectar a week, an unprecedented amount!
I wish I knew what I was doing right so I could keep on doing it!
Is anyone else seeing this unusual (for Anna's) behavior? Barbara

Barbara Wheeler Photography https://barbarawheelerphotography.com (206) 919-0626

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