Hummingbirds are territorial beasts. When another hummingbird encroaches on what they have defined as their territory, they attack and run the invaders off. Their territories are far larger than they would ever need…at least here.
Despite the fact that I provide them with nectar ample for a hundred hummingbird families, they seem to want all of it for themselves…regardless of the fact they’ll never need it all. If they simply shared, all of them could have plenty of nectar. Instead, the more powerful ones take it all for themselves; they seem to intimidate a few other, less powerful ones, to join them in sending the weaker ones off to seek sustenance elsewhere.
After careful consideration, I have reached the conclusion that hummingbirds would not vote the way I vote.
I may have to relocate some of the feeders (we have three). I read that hanging them at least 10 feet apart would be adequate; no so! Yesterday, Janine read that another option would be to hang them very close together…just a few feet apart…because then the aggressive birds can’t defend against several others going to different feeders. I’ll try different heights! Robin, I make my own, using 4 parts water to 1 part sugar, with no boiling. I’ve made it a point to change the water every 3 days.
I like Trish’s ideas. When we were feeding hummingbirds, I had to hang the feeders in different places so the less aggressive ones could get something to eat. We had one hummer who literally sat on the feeder for hours, staking out his territory and not letting a single other bird feed. He did not make me happy. Do you make your own nectar? We always did. Simple recipe of 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. If the birds can eat all of what you make within two or three days, you won’t need to boil it and let it cool before putting it out.
John, it actually the male hummingbirds that causes such a ruckus. Be aware that they (males) can defend a territory that is up to a quarter acre or so. If you wish to decrease the territorial battles among male hummingbirds, try these two options. Hang multiple feeders if you haven’t done so. This sometimes puts them at ease in regards to their turf. Also, it may help if you hang your feeders at different heights.
Note: The female hummingbird only become territorial when nesting.
Good luck with the battle ground! 😉