How To Stop A Bully Hummingbird At Your Feeders

How To Stop A Bully Hummingbird At Your Feeders

Hummingbird watching in your yard is really enjoyable. The other hummingbirds won’t leave your feeders until you get one that starts to intimidate them all. Once you know how, stopping a bully hummingbird is surprisingly simple.

This manual will walk you through the steps you must do to put an end to the obnoxious hummingbirds at your feeder. To solve the problem, you must first understand why hummingbirds behave in this manner.

Why are hummingbirds aggressive?

Hummingbirds are lone wolves. This implies that they are alone and independent for the majority of the time. Hummingbirds are not excellent at sharing and must prioritize their own needs.

Hummingbirds use solitude as a survival strategy. Thus, they are exempt from having to share meals with others. Therefore, they will desire to retain a decent food source for themselves if they find one.

Due to the fact that their survival depends on it, hummingbirds are extremely territorial. They have to think that there is a finite amount of each food source they come upon. Hummingbirds are aware that flowers only blossom for a brief time each year before withering away. They are unaware that hummingbird feeders don’t go extinct.

Actually, supply and demand govern everything. They want to be the ones who receive it if they believe there is only a small amount to go around. Along with that comes having to defeat rival hummingbirds.

Hummingbirds will go extinct if they don’t obtain enough food each day. For them to survive longer, an aggressive attitude is necessary.

They are more likely to attract mates if they can locate and guard a reliable food source. By giving their children access to the same food source, it also guarantees their survival.

Hummingbirds are hostile to other animals save their own kind. They frequently engage in combat with other species, such as orioles, bees, and butterflies, that pose a threat to their food source.

How do Aggressive hummingbirds behave?

Hummingbird violence is frequently misinterpreted for playful behavior. However, the intensity of hummingbirds’ hostility varies. From slight annoyance to actual physical combat, this can happen.

A hummingbird’s propensity for aggression is influenced by a few factors. Food accessibility, hummingbird species, and the kinds of animals they are driving away are all factors in this.


Hummingbirds begin by issuing a warning to other birds to stay away from their region. Typically, this entails chirping that is loud, quick, and high-pitched. They’ll fly faster as well because of the increased noise that their buzzing wings make as a warning to the imposter.


A bully hummingbird will attempt to make a show of size and assert their dominance. They will alter their posture by expanding their wings and tails and fluffing up their feathers. As a warning of impending danger, some hummingbirds may exhibit specific colors on their throat feathers.


Hummingbirds will focus on the intruder and begin to dive at high speeds at them. This is a trick to make the invader feel uncomfortable and nervous. If the intruder had ignored the noises and posture, hummingbirds would have resorted to this action.

This activity is frequently mistaken for a mating swoop that males engage in during the breeding season to catch the attention of females.


Bully hummingbirds must forcibly eject intruders from their domain if they don’t heed their warnings. They chase them away to accomplish this. When the invader is chased out from the territory by a hummingbird, they are no longer considered a threat.

Males won’t chase females out of their area, although chasing is still a part of the mating ritual.

Physical fighting

A fight is likely to start if the invader returns to the bully’s territory after being chased away. Hummingbirds fight by striking one other with their beaks and talons. even when the physical activity happens in spurts. The majority of the fight is spent squaring off in an effort to gain territory.

Eventually, the hummingbird that is less dominating will grow weary and quit. The majority of hummingbird battles end with minor injuries. Another hummingbird, however, can perish from one mistake.

Which hummingbird is the most aggressive?

The rufous and ruby-throated kinds of hummingbirds are the two most aggressive in the United States. The rufous hummingbird is a resident of the west coast states and migrates there. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird, on the other hand, migrates through the eastern states.

These hummingbirds have extensive migration routes, which accounts for why they are the most hostile. This requires them to travel across several different countries each year. When they move to a new area, they must establish a suitable habitat and a reliable food supply.

Male hummingbirds must establish a territory since they always migrate first. Being combative is the best method for them to succeed in each area, where they need to hold their own.

Mid-July is when rufous hummingbirds are most aggressive. Around the end of August, the ruby-throated hummingbird will be most aggressive at your feeders.

Why are hummingbirds aggressive?

Why you need to stop bully hummingbirds

Hummingbirds’ territorial and combative behavior is in line with their nature. When they use hummingbird feeders, they don’t need to be aggressive, even though it helps them in the wild. They are harming their health even if they are unaware of it.

Let’s examine some of the benefits to hummingbirds of stopping a bully in its tracks.

Wastes energy

Hummingbird aggression requires a lot of energy from both the attacker and the intruders. The aggressive hummingbird has an advantage since it has control of the nectar feeder and has a plentiful supply to recharge. The invader must then search for nectar twice as hard to make up for lost energy.

The invader will simply perish from starvation if they are unable to replenish the energy lost during a territorial conflict.

Causes Injury

The main element of most hummingbird fights is competing with one another. They can, however, occasionally become physical. A hummingbird that has suffered a beak or talon injury may become sick or more susceptible to predators.

A combative hummingbird might potentially engage in combat with a larger bird, like an oriole. A little hummingbird can be readily killed by larger birds.

Stops other hummingbirds feeding

Other hummingbirds won’t visit your feeders if there are one or two aggressive hummers there. This means that only a small number of hummingbirds will benefit from the maintenance you put into your feeders. If you want to see more, you might find this to be quite aggravating.

Ruins your enjoyment

You find it challenging to enjoy your backyard birdwatching experience because of aggressive hummingbirds. They disturb the peace of watching the hummingbirds flit about in addition to scaring away the other hummingbirds. Instead, you’re forced to sit through stressful heated fights.

How to stop a bully hummingbird

Hummingbirds are naturally aggressive, but there are techniques to train them to be less aggressive. The goal is to show them that there is plenty for everyone and that they can each get their fair share without clashing with other people.

Let’s examine your options for doing this.

1. Buy More Feeders

If you have only one feeder available, you are significantly more likely to have an aggressive hummingbird at your feeder. That particular feeder is the hummingbird’s territory, and they will keep everyone else out.

A wonderful strategy to meet your hummingbird’s needs is to purchase more hummingbird feeders. Everyone can sit down at the table if there are additional feeders available.

Because of this, I urge you to purchase many hummingbird feeders with at least 10 feeding ports (these ones are a good option).

2. Be Mindful of Design

The shape of the feeder is crucial in ensuring that hummingbirds don’t believe there is less nectar available. They will start to fear and grow more hostile against the other hummingbirds if they experience this.

A feeder with a shared nectar supply is what you desire. That implies that if it runs out, everyone at the feeder is impacted.

Only one hummingbird may access their own supply with individual or miniature hummingbird feeders, such as these. Therefore, the injured hummingbird would probably assault another hummer to take over their space if one feeder runs out and another is still full.

Be cautious of hummingbird feeders that have straw-like spouts as well. These can frequently get clogged, giving the hummingbird the impression that there is no more nectar available.

3. Space Feeders Out

After placing multiple feeders in your yard, you should space them apart. To achieve this, attempt to arrange them such that there are 15-20 feet between feeders. Because of this, the aggressive hummingbird becomes aware of nearby birds but is unable to defend every feeder at once.

Adding distinct hummingbird territories to your yard is another option. Keep each feeding group hidden from the others. In this manner, the hummingbirds will stake out their protected area in your yard. Keep in mind to provide a several feeders at each location to prevent one bully from taking over each area.

4. Plant Native flowers

It is preferable to set up a location where hummingbirds may use both your feeder and uncultivated nectar sources. The hummingbirds can then disperse and locate nearby food sources as a result.

Planting nectar-producing flowers that are local to your area is ideal. Between them and your feeders, the hummers will move quickly. Flowers also draw insects, another vital source of food for hummingbirds.

You can put flowers in your yard’s beds, or even hang baskets from Shepard’s poles in the spaces between your hummingbird feeders. If you can’t keep up with many of feeders every few days, this is fantastic.

5. Prune the Snags

Hummingbirds like taking breaks from hunting for food. They will usually select a favorite position on a branch of a nearby tree or bush, you’ll notice. These snag points are frequently ancient, robust, dead branches that offer protection.

Bully hummingbirds frequently find a snag branch in a location that gives them an excellent viewing point. The hummingbird will have a fantastic view of the feeder from this branch and be able to identify an intruder right away.

The best strategy is to locate this snag branch and cut it back in order to halt them down. They’ll discover another branch, but it won’t offer the same advantages as the first one they chose.

6. Be consistent

Hummingbirds frequent the same areas year after year. Once they realize your yard is a good supply of food, they’ll keep returning.

The most crucial aspect is that you must give them a reliable source of clean food. The hummingbirds are reassured that they can rely on your feeder to survive as a result.

The hummingbirds will learn that they don’t need to be territorial because there is always enough food available if you keep your feeder fully stocked.

How do Aggressive hummingbirds behave?

Final Thoughts

Hummingbird aggression at your feeder might be a serious problem. It harms the hummingbirds and prevents you from enjoying their company.

Bullying hummingbirds at your feeders are simple to stop. Just be aware that their behavior is a supply-and-demand-based survival tactic.

They won’t behave so aggressively at your feeder if you provide them with more food. You can reduce this behavior further by spreading out your feeders and eliminating the bully’s vantage positions. Hummingbirds will learn that your yard is a rich source of food if your feeder is kept consistently filled. They’ll quickly realize that fighting is unnecessary.

Use these methods, and your hummingbirds’ tranquility will quickly return.


Why are hummingbirds aggressive to each other?

Hummingbirds are territorial, which makes them violent. When staking out a new territory, male hummingbirds are quite combative. Keep in mind that this is necessary for the mother and her young to survive. A territory is claimed by the male, who then breeds with multiple females.

Are hummingbirds aggressive toward each other?

Hummingbirds are aggressive for a good reason—they may have to travel far once nectar is depleted, so they can’t afford to share flowers when there aren’t many blossoms to choose from. Because of how ingrained this hatred is, they are unable to distinguish between feeders and other animals.

Are hummingbirds aggressive to other hummingbirds?

A hummingbird may act angrily if they believe that someone is invading their territory. More than others, some hummingbird species are known for being aggressive. The Rufous Hummingbird is especially well known for its temper.

How do you stop hummingbird aggression?

Bullying hummingbirds typically set themselves a location from where they can easily protect their territory. Consider taking away the perch or trimming the branch that they frequently use. This will lessen the likelihood that they may chase off competing hummingbirds that attempt to eat.

Are some hummingbirds bullies?

Hummingbirds can be hostile toward other birds in the area in addition to being bullies around their own nectar feeders. Hummingbird feeding stations can be moved away from seed feeders to encourage relaxation and lessen general hostility among hungry birds.


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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author