Are Hummingbirds Mean? Understanding Their Aggressive Behavior

Do you know why hummingbirds are sometimes aggressive? It’s not always clear why these little birds become agitated, but it’s important to understand their behavior if you want to interact with them.

In this blog post, we will explore the reasons behind hummingbird aggression and provide tips on how to curb that behavior. We’ll also answer the question, are hummingbirds mean? So keep reading to learn more about these fascinating creatures!

By the way, if you click on a link and then make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

The Hummingbird’s Personality: Tiny but Mighty

Though they are small, hummingbirds are full of personality. They are known for being very curious and bold, often investigating anything new in their territory.

Their wings beat so fast that they make a humming sound, and that’s where they get their name, and aptly so.

They are also quick to defend their turf, both from other hummingbirds and from potential predators. When it comes to mating, male hummingbirds are quite aggressive, vying for the attention of females with flashy displays and melodious songs.

Females, on the other hand, are more reserved, choosing mates based on factors like territory size and food availability.

Though they have distinct personalities, both sexes share a love of sweet nectar and a penchant for flying long distances.

In fact, some species of hummingbird migrate hundreds or even thousands of miles every year in search of food and favorable weather conditions.

Clearly, a tiny hummingbird packs a big punch when it comes to personality.

What Does a Hummingbird Symbolize?

what does a hummingbird symbolize?

According to Native American legend, hummingbirds are the bringers of joy. They are also seen as symbols of love, good luck, and healing.

In some cultures, they are thought to be the spirits of departed loved ones, come back to visit us. Hummingbirds have been revered by cultures around the world for centuries.

In ancient Mexico, they were associated with the goddess of love, and in China, they were seen as symbols of good fortune.

Today, many people believe that these beautiful creatures represent hope and new beginnings.

Are Hummingbirds Mean? Or, Territorial?

are hummingbirds mean or, territorial

Hummingbirds are lovely creatures that are fun to watch as they zip around your yard or garden. But did you know that they can also be quite aggressive?

If you’ve ever had one fly right at your face, you know what I’m talking about! So why do these tiny birds become so aggressive? Do hummingbirds fight?

There are a few reasons that we see aggressive hummingbirds. One is that they are fiercely territorial and will defend their chosen hummingbird feeders and patch of ground from intruders, whether those intruders are other hummingbirds or larger birds.

For a tiny bird, they will also attack if they feel their nesting area is threatened. And finally, male hummingbirds will sometimes become aggressive in order to impress potential mates.

There is some evidence that some hummingbird species may be more aggressive than others.

For example, the rufous hummingbird has been known to vigorously defend its territory from other birds, even chasing them away from food sources.

How Hummingbirds Demonstrate Aggression

how hummingbirds demonstrate aggression

Anyone who has ever tried to photograph a hummingbird will likely attest to their feisty nature.

Although they are small, these colorful birds are not afraid to show their aggression, especially when it comes to defending their territory. The male hummingbird is typically the one to display these aggressive behaviors.

One of the ways that hummingbirds show aggression is through vocalizations. They will often make loud screeching sounds when they feel threatened.

Another way that hummingbirds show aggression is through physical displays, such as diving and chasing. When a hummingbird feels its territory is being invaded, it will often swoop down and chase the offender away.

Finally, hummingbirds also use posturing to assert their dominance. They will often spread their wings and tilt their heads back to appear larger and more intimidating.

By understanding these behaviors, we can get a better appreciation for these beautiful birds.

What We Can Do to Help Foster the Love

If your property is a gathering spot for hummingbirds, awesome! You’re doing your part to help keep them fed, nourished, and propagating.

But, what can you do when you observe the posturing, physical displays, and fighting that can occur between these tiny warriors? Sometimes it can get to the point where your nectar is not being consumed because of a bully hummingbird keeping the other hummers away.

Here are a few tips for you to try:

Add clusters of feeders spaced apart

add clusters of feeders spaced a

If you’re noticing more aggression among the hummingbirds in your yard, one thing you can do is add more hummingbird feeders in clusters and space them out as much as possible.

One feeder with many ports will likely draw more aggression than having multiple feeders with just a couple of feeding ports.

If your property is large enough, space them so that one feeding cluster is not seen by the other.

This will give the hummingbirds more options for feeding, and they won’t have to compete as much for food. By providing more food and space, you can help reduce hummingbird aggression in your yard.

Of course, this will add to your work as the birder-lover. Regular cleaning is so important to keep disease at bay and the nectar fresh. It’s a labor of love, right?

SaleBestseller No. 1
SEWANTA Hummingbird Feeder 16 oz [Set of 2] Plastic Hummingbird Feeders for Outdoors – Humming Bird Feeders – 10 Feeding Ports – Wide Mouth for Easy Filling/2 Part Base for Easy Cleaning
  • ATTRACTIVE FEEDER: 16 ounces of nectar in this bright red hummingbird feeder attract multitudes of…
  • LEAKPROOF RESERVOIR: The mouth of the reservoir tightly screws onto the base, effectively sealing…
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Reservoirs and base made of hard plastic. The wide mouth ensures effortless…
  • CLEAR RESERVOIR: The transparent exterior of the container allows you to monitor nectar levels so…
  • SECURE HANGING: No tools are required! The hummingbird feeder is slipped onto a tree with an…
SaleBestseller No. 2
Perky-Pet 203CPBN-2 Pinch-Waist Glass Hummingbird Feeder with Perches, Built-in Ant Moat and Bee Guards – Outdoor Garden Décor – 2 Pack
  • Accommodate Multiple Birds – This feeder boasts four flower-shaped feeding ports with comfortable…
  • Keep Insects Out – Built-in bee guards keep bees from entering the ports and a built-in ant moat…
  • Wide-Mouth Bottle – No more messes and no more spills, the wide-mouth bottle makes filling easier,…
  • Easy to Clean – Remove the ant moat, base, bottle, and ports with ease – even the bee guards…
  • 8 oz Capacity – This feeder holds up to 8 oz of nectar, ensuring you have the perfect amount of…
Bestseller No. 3
More Birds Bird Health+ Ruby Hummingbird Feeder, Glass Hummingbird Feeders for Outdoors, 4 Feeding Stations, 10 Ounces
  • NECTAR CAPACITY: Holds 10 fluid ounces of hummingbird nectar
  • FEEDING PORTS: Features four flower-shaped feeding ports to accommodate multiple hummingbirds
  • ANT MOAT: Built-in ant moat stops ants in their tracks preventing them from reaching the precious…
  • ATTRACT MORE HUMMINGBIRDS: Red is a hummingbird’s favorite color; attract more with the red top and…
  • EASY CLEANING: We recommend washing your hummingbird feeder by hand with warm soapy water; please…
Bestseller No. 4
Hummingbird Feeder 10 oz [Set of 2] Plastic Hummingbird Feeders for Outdoors, with Built-in Ant Guard – Circular Perch with 5 Feeding Ports – Wide Mouth for Easy Filling/2 Part Base for Easy Cleaning
  • ATTRACTIVE FEEDER: [Set of 2] 10 ounces of nectar in this bright red hummingbird feeder attract…
  • LEAKPROOF RESERVOIR: The mouth of the reservoir tightly screws onto the base, effectively sealing…
  • ANT GUARD FOR HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS: An ant moat is attached to the top of the feeder to repel ants….
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: The wide mouth ensures effortless cleaning and filling, and the 2-part base easily…
  • SECURE HANGING: No tools are required! The hummingbird feeder is slipped onto a tree with an…

Locate and remove the bully hummingbird’s perch

If you can observe the spot where the bully hummingbird is hiding, remove the perch, trim the branch, or do what you can to make it less inviting for them to hang out there and stake their claim.

Plant nectar-producing flowers

plant nectar-producing flowers

Planting nectar-producing flowers is a great way to help curb hummingbird aggression. The sweet nectar provides the hummingbirds with the energy they need, and the flowers also offer a safe place for them to perch.

Some specific flower species that have nectar are iris, columbines, bee balms, and impatiens. Each of these flowers produces a large amount of nectar, and they also have a wide variety of color patterns that hummingbirds find irresistible.

In addition, these flowers are all native to North America, so they are well-suited to supporting the local hummingbird population.

By planting a variety of nectar-producing flowers, you can create a beautiful garden that doubles as a haven for these delightful creatures.


Do hummingbirds migrate?

Yes, most species of hummingbirds migrate. The migration patterns vary depending on the species, but many of them will travel to Central America or even as far south as Peru for the winter months.

During the migration, they will often stop at feeding stations to rest and refuel before continuing on their journey.

What do hummingbirds eat?

In addition to nectar, hummingbirds also eat insects. They are particularly fond of mosquitoes, midges, and gnats. The protein from the insects is essential for their survival, and it helps them to maintain their high metabolism.

Do all hummingbirds feed on nectar?

No, not all hummingbirds feed on nectar. Some species of hummingbird, such as the hermit hummingbird, feed primarily on insects.

Do hummingbirds mate for life?

No, hummingbirds do not mate for life. They are generally monogamous for one breeding season, but they will often find a new mate the following year.


So, what can you do when faced with a dominant hummingbird? The tips we’ve outlined are a good place to start. By adding more feeders and planting nectar-producing flowers, you can help reduce aggression among the hummingbirds in your yard.

And don’t forget to remove the perch that the bully is using to intimidate the other birds! With a little bit of effort, you can create a more peaceful and beautiful hummingbird sanctuary right in your backyard.