For the last few days one lone juvenile Ruby-throat has taken control of our garden since he's had no competition to worry about. He's made the trek to surrounding yards up to 1/2 mile away, but returns quickly to his home base to refuel. His behavior has been different from others due to the fact he had no others to compete with. He's fed when desired, and didn't need to fight for his food. He wasn't vocal because there weren't others to heed the warning. Life just seemed quite easy for him.
I thought to my self over the past few days of how he would react if another were to show up. He too is quite young, so I wondered how he'd react since he didn't have the bully behavior taught to him. Would he be possessive of the garden, or would he remain submissive because his anger hasn't been tested yet?
I thought about the good year we had and then dropped my head in thanks, and with my eyes closed I was interrupted by a sound resembling a card in the bike spokes. I lifted my head and looked around. My movement must have startled a young male that was now about 20 feet away in the Nasturtiums. I knew immediately it was another young male. It only took him about 30 seconds before he flew right back in front of me into the other Nasturtiums. I realized the sound was now this clumsy little fellow fumbling around in the plants. His wings continued to slap the petals of the flowers as he dug deep for the nectar. So many moments made me silently chuckle, and sometimes out loud, as he'd grab hold anywhere possible and fall into the tangled vines of the Nasturtiums. I watched and listened to the high speed flutter of wings slapping his way out of a troubling mess of vines. He wasn't graceful in any way, and certainly eager and pleased to find a garden full of flowers. His vigor made me think that food must have been at a minimum in his travels.
I then thought about the other young male. I wondered if he knew of this little intruder? Within seconds instinct kicked in. He came like lightning out of the trees and a chase immediately started. Up and over the trees, and who knows how far they traveled. Within a few minutes the dominant one returned to a feeder. I wondered if the other would be back or if fear sent him packing to a warmer climate. Sure enough, within 15 minutes the newbie came back to the food he knew and once again fumbled in the flowers.
Imaged is the Newbie. He's a young male Ruby-throat. N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Aug 30, 2019.
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