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Bird Watching: hummers at last, 1 by lilyfantn

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In reply to: hummers at last

Forum: Bird Watching

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Photo of hummers at last
lilyfantn wrote:
Hi Magpye! That would be very interesting if you did that little mirror experiment. Although I bet they would just choose a different branch lol!

I think that the U shaped flight pattern is used for both situations. Here is a quote from "Hinterland's Who's Who Ruby throat fact sheet" Here he is talking about the aggressive display...

"Both the males and the females aggressively defend their food supply and its surroundings against intruders. These encounters lead to persistent swift pursuits that sometimes develop into fighting. The tiny bird uses speed and the hum of its wings to intimidate intruders. It employs certain flight patterns in these aggressive displays. In one, the bird makes a speedy dash, describing a horizontal U, from side to side around the intruderís ears. In another, the bird swings vertically up and down like a pendulum. Both flight patterns are accompanied by high squeaky notes, and the birdís wings hum like an angry bumblebee. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is persistent and continues to worry the intruder until it has had enough and flees."

and here he talks about the courtship display being similar...

"A spectacular feature of the Ruby-throated Hummingbirdís courtship behaviour is the maleís famous pendulum display, an elaboration of the aggressive flight display. The male dives down towards the resting or feeding female. Like a pendulum he sweeps past her and up to a point 2 to 3 m in the air, then back along the same path in reverse. He repeats this swinging display time and again, all the while uttering squeaky notes. As he dives past the female his wings hum the loudest; as he swings closer to the female his hum becomes more intense and his speed increases. Abruptly, the display ends; both dart off together, to start again elsewhere. "

Here is a link to his very interesting web page...

The hummers being around have eased my empty nest syndrome. The yard has been a noisy active place due to house wrens nesting in a house by my front window. I have really been enjoying watching them. Right after I took this picture of one of the babies looking at the big wide world outside his house I left to do soome errands. When I got back I could immediately tell that they were gone by the total quiet! I really miss the constant ratchety warning noises that the parents would make.

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