Here Ziggy sits fearlessly, in the open garden, for the world to see him. He guards his territory with a keen eye, and not a leaf will fall without him being aware of it. He preselects every perch around his territory to keep a lookout for every female that will show up in Spring. His territory is extensive, but in regions where hummingbirds are sparse, a male may cover several square miles each and every day on the lookout for the arriving females. Because the male plays absolutely no part in the raising of young, the hummingbirds' population can do extremely well even with a low male population. One male may seek out 20 or more females in one breeding season, and therefore be responsible for the explosion of young hummingbirds that will appear at the end of the season in your garden.
In the meantime, Ziggy carefully watches over his garden and preens his majestic feathers so they'll be in pristine shape for when that time arises that he'll have to display the most impressive ritual in attracting another mate.
This is Ziggy's common perch. He chose this tall standing bamboo situated among the flowers, and when he's ready to move on to the next lookout post, he'll stretch every muscle throughout his body and disappear in a flash.
There's really no way for me to confirm that this young male is the offspring to Ziggy, but if I was a betting man I'd say there's no question. He's been the dominant male for the last two years at least, and now I'm only five months away from hopefully seeing his return.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds, N.E. of Edmonton, May and August 2016.
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