On November 14, 2012, I had the opportunity to witness a “Featherweight Fight” between two Anna’s Hummingbirds. One was an adult male and the other was a juvenile. They were at a feeder that was almost full. Angie and I were talking about removing the feeders because it was starting to freeze at night. At the time we didn’t believe that any hummingbirds would still be in the area.
I happened to go out onto the patio and I had the opportunity to watched two birds jockeying for position and chasing each other away from the feeder. It just seemed to me to be the normal back and forth that you get from the hummers when they are hungry. However, after a short time these birds grappled in the air and had a controlled fall to the ground where the pecked at each other. They didn’t stay there long and were back up in the air. I had never seen this before so I quickly went inside to get my camera and came back out as fast as I could. The birds were still jabbing at each other as I got the camera focused on a bird at the feeder and started the video.
The birds ignored me and kept on with their battle. I didn’t expect to see much more than just chasing each other around but I was surprised by these small creatures. They flew by me a couple of times during the duel. Almost as I was ready to stop the video the hummers locked up again and went to the ground fighting. I was able to capture most of it as the continued the fight on the ground. After they went back into the air I taped another minute or so before I stopped. My battery was starting to flash at me. I knew that there wasn’t much time left on it.
I taped over 10 minutes of the exchange before I quit. The entire fight from the beginning until I shut off the camera was about 15 to 20 minutes. It did go on for a period of time afterwards. After editing, there is almost 3 minutes on the video for you to see. There is some brilliant green and red flashes in the pictures from the light hitting the feathers in just the right spots. The male Anna’s is still here at the BnB but we haven’t see the juvenile and we don’t know what finally happened.
I have the video on YouTube for you to enjoy.