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The Hummingbirds Not-So-Social Life


are hummingbirds aggressive with each other?

The answer to this is a resounding YES.  Hummingbirds live pretty much a solitary life.  They all fight to protect their food sources.  Nectar is usually at the bottom of all that aggression.

Some species such as the Rufous Hummingbird will fight off other species to take over a food source.  They are super aggressive and migrate long distances every year.  They need to fight to get the food for their long journeys.

The females will fight to protect the nest and the food source for her offspring.

is a hummingbird's bill a built in weapon?

The findings suggest that the male birds’ beak shape evolved in response to the birds’ competition for mates. Previous theories held that the birds’ beaks were an adaptation that allowed them to sip nectar from flowers. But now the evidence seems to suggest that the flowers evolved in response to the birds’ long beaks.

Dr. Alejandro Rico-Guevara of the University of Connecticut studied Long-billed Hermit hummingbirds in Costa Rica.  Adult male birds with the longest, sharpest beaks fared better in courtship rituals.  This is the first evidence that male/male combat might be playing a role in their evolution.  It was always felt that flowers and the hummingbird's beak evolved together.  At least in this species it may be that the flowers evolved to conform with the beak.

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