Through this post, you will discover that the hummingbird must face the normal hazards of survival including weather, humans, pesticides, and so on. You will also discover that predators are a significant source of risk to a hummingbird, due to the fact that they are so small in size.
Cats, both domestic and feral, are probably the most common predators of non-nested hummingbirds. The Hummingbird Society also often receives reports of tailless hummingbirds. This could indicate a hummingbird in molt or it could indicate a hummingbird that has narrowly escaped being caught by a cat. In the case of one hummingbird species, the Juan Fernandez Firecrown, which is found in Chile, cats are actually an important reason for the bird’s being close to extinction.
Hawks and Other birds have been documented catching hummingbirds. Even though most birds are far larger than the hummingbird, which typically only weighs 3-4 grams or 0.1 ounce, the larger birds have been known to attack the hummingbird. Many people have observed hummingbirds pursuing or confronting a hawk, most probably in defense of a nest.
Hummingbirds share some of the same predators as birds that are much larger in size then these tiny birds. However, due to their very small size, they have more predators that are often quite unusual.
It may surprise you, as it did me, to learn that praying mantis will successfully capture, kill, and eat a hummingbird. Usually, the praying mantis will position itself on a plant or a hummingbird feeder to which it observes a hummingbird coming repeatedly. Due to the lightning-fast manner in which the insect strikes it is often assured of success. It may take over a day for the bird to be consumed by the praying mantis, because of the relative size difference. While these insects are very beneficial in a garden, they should not be allowed on hummingbird feeders.
The spider can even be a predator of Hummingbirds. The hummingbird uses spider webs as a source of material in the construction of their nest, because it is necessary to bind the nest to the tree branch or other substrate and to hold the nest together.
There are even more unusual predators of the hummingbird. This includes the frog and even a bass fish. Frogs can capture a hummingbird, although the result is probably death to both. According to The Hummingbird Society, there is at least one report in the literature of a bass fish capturing a hummingbird.
No animal is without predators. The hummingbird certainly has some unusual ones. What other ones do you know of that might not have been mentioned here? Did any of those listed here surprise you? Let me hear from you and tell me what you think.