Predators of the Hummingbird

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.

Interesting Facts About Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are such truly amazing birds and they never cease to amaze me. It is my hope that reading these amazing facts will fuel your own imagination and cause you to want to discover more about these truly amazing birds for yourself.
  • Of all bird species, hummingbirds have the largest known relative heart size. The heart represents 2.4 percent of their body weight.
  • If the average man’s metabolism was comparable to that of a hummingbird, he would have to eat 285 pounds of hamburger every day in order to maintain his weight.
  • An active hummingbird can starve to death in as little as two hours. 
  • 90 percent of the hummingbird’s diet is nectar.
  • A hummingbird will visit between 1,000 and 2,000 blossoms each day.
  • Hummingbirds do not have a sense of smell, as far as is known. They use their eyesight to help them locate nectar sources and to get insects out of the air or off leaves.
  • The oldest historical mention of hummingbirds dates back to the Tiano Native Americans, around the time of Columbus.
I hope you will enjoy discovering these few interesting facts about the hummingbird. What other types facts about the hummingbird have you always wanted to know? Let me know and I will try to find the answer and let you know about it in a future blog post.    Happy hummingbird watching everyone!

Where, Oh Where, Have the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds Gone?

I live in Beaumont, Texas which is located in southeast Texas, about 90 to 100 miles east of Houston. The Ruby-throated hummingbird is probably the most common species of hummingbird in this area of the country. In recent years, there have been many hummingbirds in the area, but this has not been the case this year. I do not know the reason for this. 
While I recently visited my dad’s house, I saw absolutely no hummingbirds while there, but that was easily explained because he had not put out any feeders in order to attract the birds this year. That used to be something my mom would do each year. Since she has passed way maybe that was something my dad just did not want to do any longer. Only my dad knows the reason for that. 
At the apartment complex where I live, there are numerous hummingbird feeders around on the property. They have been here as long as I have lived here, four years, and they are well maintained and have plenty of nectar in them, so I have no idea why the birds are not coming around.
I wish I had the answers and could solve this dilemma. My friends and I miss seeing these tiny amazing creatures. Spring just is not the same without them around. If I had the opportunity, I would tell these birds to please come back because you are very missed around this area by so many people. 
Lastly, I would like to share with you some interesting facts about the Ruby-throated hummingbird. I hope you will enjoy this information while also discovering some information that you did not already know.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are found throughout the eastern part of Texas and the U.S. and southern Canada. They migrate to Mexico south through Costa Rica for the winter. The Ruby-throated hummingbird must gain critical bodyweight before attempting to cross the Gulf of Mexico. The hummingbirds will nearly double their weight (from about 3.25 grams to 6 grams) before crossing the Gulf of Mexico. A single migration can become a nonstop flight of up to 500 miles over a period of 18 to 22 hours.
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird has a total estimated population of over 7 million individuals. This species of hummingbird was hunted during the nineteenth century for its beautiful plumage, but the Ruby-throated Hummingbird now enjoys protection from harvest through the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This act declares unlawful the taking, killing, or possessing of migratory birds. It is also listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna of 1975.   

The Hummingbird Round-Up

Many species of hummingbirds are found in Texas, so no matter where in Texas you live you will likely see some in your area. If you enjoy watching hummingbirds and discovering interesting facts about them, then please consider using your hobby as a way to benefit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in their continued efforts to gain valuable information and insight into the various hummingbird species found throughout the state of Texas.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has been running a Hummingbird Round-up for the last few years. This program gives the average citizen the opportunity to join other Texans in helping our wildlife biologists learn more about Texas hummingbirds and what they need in their environment.
The Hummingbird Round-up is a program that has many benefits to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. With so many different species of hummingbirds on which to try and gather data, the challenge to know these species and what they need to survive is daunting. Biologists can not be in every county in the state at all times to observe these birds and their movements.
Volunteers, like you, can provide them with information that can be pooled with other observations across the state to develop a picture of these birds and their habitats. Some of these birds have only been recorded a dozen times throughout history, so their story in Texas is minimal. The Texas Hummingbird Roundup is a program that enables Texans to assist Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists study the birds’ feeding patterns, behavior, range and distribution.
In order to participate in the program, all you have to do is watch the hummingbirds visiting your feeders, make a note on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department form and submit it at the end of each year. Participants in the program will be provided with a kit that includes a survey form and “A Quick Reference Guide to Texas Hummingbirds” booklet, with information on Texas’ species of hummingbird, how to clean and maintain feeders, and suggestions on additional plants for the garden.
Anyone interested in participating in the program should contact the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at the address listed below or go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s website. Their physical mailing address is as follows: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744.
Dear Mom

Thunderstorms and Hummingbirds

I think about you, at some point, every single day mom.  Today was no different.  In fact, I woke up fist thing this morning thinking about you, because in the early morning hours, we were having heavy thunderstorms.  You always did enjoy a raging thunderstorm, especially if there was heavy rain, lighting, and thunder.  I remember how you used to like to sit on the porch or in the garage during a good storm.  I like it too.  The storm somehow makes me think of you and feel closer to you.


To let you understand how much my mom loved a good storm, it seemed only fitting that there was a terrible storm on the day my mom died.  I don’t know how much rain we received on that day, but I do know that it was coming down so hard that it was almost impossible for my sister to see while driving us to our dad’s house after having picked me up at my apartment.  In fact, my sister and I both even comment how appropriate it seemed that it was raining on that day and that mom would have really liked the storm that was occurring.  As inappropriate as this may seem to those of you who didn’t know my mom, we even joked that maybe the storm was occurring in her honor.  Mom would have loved that!


You may be wondering, what do hummingbirds and thunderstorms have to do with one another?  Well, usually nothing I’m sure, but for me these to things will be forever linked together.  Those are two things that will always remind me of my mother.  Hummingbirds and thunderstorms are two things that we both have a fondness for and this will always connect us together, even after mom’s death.


So mom, just know how much I enjoyed this mornings thunderstorms.  It woke me up and as I laid there in bed I thought of you and wondered if you were somehow enjoying it too.  I don’t know if there will be any more storms later today or not, but if so they will make me think of you as well.  The only bad thing about the storms, if you can even call this bad, is that they will probably keep the humming birds away.  Oh well, the hummingbirds will just have to come again some other day!