One by one the males start appearing in our gardens, and what may appear to be the male that dominated the previous year, may turn out to be just another contender for that territory. Many of the young males from the previous year are now of age to battle it out with the mature males from the previous season. Many of these battles will be unseen, but the victor will soon reveal himself by sitting above the garden, in plain view, ready to take on any intruder. He may encounter some weak competitors, and he may be in for the battle of his life, but in the end, the one who sits proudly in the open, fearless of anything that shows up in his garden, and sits high above the rest, will be the one that reigns supreme. He will know that he is the king of the garden, and wants all the others to be clearly aware of it. He will stand out among the rest and be known for a time as the leader to be feared. The reward for this victorious battle will be ownership of the feeders, flowers, water features and breeding rights for the remainder of that season.
These are the battles the take place annually, and this is precisely the reason that multiple feeders should be spread out around your garden, but not all visible from one feeder. The dominant male will try and protect every feeder and flower. But to allow other hummingbirds feeding opportunities, it's important to have feeders spread out, some out of clear sight.
Here Ziggy sits, very content on a branch out in the open, while he watches over the garden he fought so hard for. After several minutes of soaking up the morning sun, he stretches out those stiffened muscles and gets ready to move on to another perch, just to keep an eye out on every corner of his garden.
July 20, 2019. N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Adult male Ruby-throat hummingbird.