A breeding male is hyper-alert and aggressive. And truthfully, though I posted Bob Sargent’s description of how the males deteriorate in appearance during breeding season (July 24 post), I had not expected to witness this happening so rapidly nor feel distressed by it.
Despite the poor image you can see breast injuries and the disarray of feathers.
I keep thinking that this male will begin his own migration soon, but just two days ago a courted female joined him at his perch.
I first saw her at the feeder before she settled on a branch near where he normally posts himself. I expected him to zoom in like a missile, but instead, he flew in and quietly perched above her.
Female watching for his arrival.
Male upper left, female lower right.
It wasn’t long before an intruder appeared and the peace of the moment was over. The male returned again to preen but the female did not return. This observation probably spanned a period of three minutes and I feel privileged to have witnessed this deeper glimpse into a hummingbird’s life.