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Male hummingbirds — like the Anna's Hummingbird seen here — keep a watchful eye on their territory and will often perch atop a high, bare twig in order to fully view their surroundings. From here, the male hummer will launch himself into the air to perform courtship displays, to chase off rivals, and to snatch small flying insects.
Some Hummingbirds Perch in the Open
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote.
A flash and hover at the nectar feeder. A buzz and squeak and a headlong chase as one hummingbird sends another packing from its closely guarded sweet treasure.
[Rufous Hummingbird sounds, https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/73025891 starting at :30]
Hummingbirds always seem to move so quickly. Do they ever pause in the open, where we can watch them for a few moments?
In fact, they do. Many male hummingbirds keep a watchful eye on their territory when they are actively courting or keeping guard over a female. The male perches atop a shrub, often on a long, bare twig, where he can fully take in his surroundings.
[Anna's Hummingbird chips notes, https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/85445931]
Other males straying into this protected space risk a relentless aerial attack. The male hummer will also launch himself from his perch in a courtship display and to snatch small flying insects, an important part of a hummingbird’s diet.
As the ever-vigilant male looks back and forth across his domain, there's a good chance his iridescent throat will catch the light just right, sending out a radiant flash of red or purple.
[Anna's Hummingbird chips notes, https://search.macaulaylibrary.org/catalog?taxonCode=annhum&mediaType=a…, 0.03-.06]
This is the moment to train your binoculars on the hummer and enjoy that brilliant play of color. And though he's bound to fly off at any moment, with any luck he'll buzz right back to the same perch.
[Rufous Hummingbird sounds, https://search.macaulaylibrary.org/catalog?taxonCode=rufhum&mediaType=a…, 0.07-.09]
For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Managing Producer: Jason Saul
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
© 2018 Tune In to Nature.org April 2018 Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# hummingbird-10-2018-04-26 hummingbird-10