Hummingbirds can appear like the most dainty creatures in our yard. They hop from flower to flower and brighten up an already beautiful garden, but what we don't see is the anger that brews inside these little birds. They are born with issues that just intensify as they mature. They are greedy for their food and will do just about anything to defend it. While these tiny birds flit through the garden on swift wings, what we don't see are the weaponized little tools tucked deep within these little feathered pillows. Young birds use their feet and a lot for balance and getting themselves into big trouble in the flowers, but the young and mature alike will use their feet for fighting and defending their food at a moment's notice. When they get into battles with other hummingbirds that long pointed beak and razor talons can do some serious damage. They can grab a fistful of feathers and leave some lasting wounds. In the photo is a young Ruby Throated hummingbird trying to get every last drop of nectar in a Nasturtium flower while it uses the sharp talons to get a better grip.
N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. August 2017.