Hummers in a flock?

Scotia, CA(Zone 9b)

I stepped out onto the balcony this morning and was greeted by the sound on over 60 Hummingbirds chirping their funny tissk and hopping from branch to branch in the high tree branches where the leaves have not yet budded out. They seemed to be either hopping mad or in a mating ritual or establishing territoties? But they wouldn't sit still long enough for the camera to focus.

I have seen them group up at a feeder but there was nothing in the tree to fight over and I have never seen so many of them in one concentrated place before. They appeared to be all Ruby throated or female (some could have been juveniles)

Any ideas what would bring so many together like that? They stayed about 3 minutes and then swarmed off in a very fast group.

Cochrane, ON(Zone 2b)

Sorry I don't have an answer for you Zany, but I bet that was quite a sight. Too bad you weren't able to get a picture of them. I didn't know that they travelled in such large groups.

Montgomery, AL(Zone 8a)

Sorry zanny, no ruby throat hummers in CA. and they do not even fly in pairs. I would have to question that they were hummers at all. All hummers, rubys included, fly as individual birds.

Larry

Scotia, CA(Zone 9b)

I agree they usually are solo and extrememly competative over what they see as their territory. But they were definately ruby throated hommers! They were chirping that distinctive little sound of theirs and in almost constant agitated motion. I have seen these lil cuties all my life and have never witnessed anything like it.

I don't know their mating habits, do you think this could have been a gathering looking for mates?

Mcallen, TX(Zone 8a)

It IS migration time for hummers.

But I always understood that ruby-throats dont frequent the west coast, but other types of hummers do.

Scotia, CA(Zone 9b)

Well, they have been here as far back as I can remember! So lets not tell them they don't come here.

Actually there was an article I read a while back in some birding magazine that talked about the Ruby throated hummers. For many years it was thought that there were two different types, one east of the rocky mountains and one west of the rockies. But it seems they are both the same breed.

But east or west I have never seen them in a huge group like this before! Very odd!!

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

When I was a kid, I went on a late-summer trailride with my father in Wisconsin. We saw a flock of hummers just like you described, Brenda. Actually, we heard them first, and at first I was scared because I thought it was bees I heard, but it was definitely birds! I hadn't thought about that in eons.

Scotia, CA(Zone 9b)

LOL They do make a lot of noise when they are grouped together like that. Not just the normal whirring they make when they dive bomb you but a very distinctive chirring chirp with a staccatto sound to it.

They were so agitated though that there was no way to get a pic and by the time I thought about the movie mode they were gone. I need to figure out a way to slow them down or speed up my brain process!

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