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Bird brains

Posted: August 23rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »
Bully hummingbird photo by Dan True

Bully hummingbird photo by Dan True

A few summers ago I installed a hummingbird feeder out by my front door, and from the day it showed up, it’s been a busy spot indeed. Just like at the playground and the workplace, however, there’s a bully who wants to run the whole show. Whenever other hummers come to sip at the feeder, this tiny tyrant swoops in out of nowhere and threatens to poke out their eyes with his needle-sharp beak.

The other hummingbirds aren’t letting him get away with this obnoxious behavior, thankfully. They’ve worked out a system to outsmart him.

First, one of them moves in as a decoy, and while he is busy chasing that one away, another one visits the feeder and sips like there’s no tomorrow. Then the others switch places until they’ve all had a turn. It doesn’t work every time, but it is successful enough that at the end of the day all the hummingbirds get a drink of sweet, sweet nectar.

It’s group cooperation at its finest, and it just goes to show that there’s always a way to get the best of a bully, if you try hard enough.


One Comment on “Bird brains”

  1. 1 T said at 11:29 pm on September 17th, 2009:

    I hope you don’t peck out anyone’s eyes with your needle-sharp beak, Office Drone! Just kidding.

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