Do Hummingbirds Attack?

do hummingbird attack
Hummingbirds do not attack humans. These small and skittish birds will aggressively defend a territory they have deemed theirs, such as a feeding station or a nesting site. Hummingbirds will attack sizable intruders by dive-bombing and making threatening calls. 

Most songbirds, hummingbirds, and other birds can show aggression at times. However, hummingbird attacks are special. They start with loud chirping and end up with a full-on fight. However, hummingbirds are never aggressive towards people.

They know how small they are, and they know they’ll lose that battle. This is why they save their attacks for other hummingbirds and intruders.

Are hummingbirds aggressive?

Male hummingbirds display more aggressive behavior than females, especially around hummingbird feeders and other food sources. On the other hand, a female hummingbird will become aggressive when it’s necessary to defend the hummingbird nest.

The hummingbird species is highly territorial and will become aggressive when they need to defend their flowers and feeders. Still, there’s a good reason behind it. Aggressive hummingbirds know they can’t afford to share the food sources and spend all the food, as they’ll starve quickly. The Rufous hummingbird is the most aggressive kind, and Anna’s hummingbird is also known for its territorial behavior.

do hummingbird attack

Can hummingbirds attack people?

Luckily, hummingbird fights usually stays within their kind. They would seldom attack people because they know how small they are. You can safely approach the feeding stations you’ve placed for your local hummingbirds and not have to worry about them attacking you.

If anything, they may come close to your face to see who you are and get to know you. Hummingbirds have very good memory, and remember the people that feed and refill their feeding stations.

What happens if a hummingbird bites you?

If you happen to feed hummingbirds and they give off a warning sign, it’s best to get away. Their beaks are long and sharp, and the bird could potentially hurt you if it wanted to. Still, a hummingbird bite doesn’t feel like much, but if it happens, ensure that you disinfect the spot and keep an eye on it for a few days.

What is the best way to prevent a hummingbird attack?

If hummers often fight around their food sources, you can make some changes to help them calm down. Start by refilling their food supply with sugar water to ensure they always have something to eat. Also, consider placing the feeders either really close together or far away. This will make them either share one territory or help them find their own without being disturbed by others.

How can you protect yourself from a hummingbird attack?

There’s nothing you should do to protect yourself from these tiny birds. They won’t attack you — they want to know you better. If you’re constantly around them, they’ll get used to you and even call you to refill their feeder.

If you’re bothered by them buzzing near your head, you can wear sunglasses or a hat to reduce the chances of getting hurt. Still, the hummingbird would get more hurt than you if it tries to attack.

What should you do if someone gets attacked by a hummingbird?

If you see another person being attacked by a hummingbird, know it’s not that dangerous. In case the hummingbird managed to pierce the skin, disinfect it, and get in touch with the medical professional.

When it comes to the bird, leave it be. It’s illegal to catch and trap them. Still, hummers are rarely aggressive towards people, so there’s usually nothing to worry about.

dive-bombing hummingbird

What does the hummer’s attack look like?

While it may look like a play to you, hummingbird aggression comes in several forms or steps, which include: making aggressive noises, changing of their posture, making dives, and chasing. Once a hummingbird notices the intruder, it will start with the loud, fast chirping and buzzing to try and make the intruder go away.

If that doesn’t work, it’ll raise the feathers and spread the wings and tail feathers to appear bigger. If the intruder stays around, hummers will start dive-bombing around them to get them to leave. Then, they’ll chase others away, and if all else fails, they’ll start fighting and pluck with their beaks.

Hummingbird behavior in general

Most North American species of hummingbirds are solitary birds. They don’t fly in large numbers. Males come to their territory a bit before the females, and females remain alone after the mating season. They do tend to share bird feeders, but even then, they might fight, and one hummingbird could scare others away.

During mating season, you’ll often see males demonstrate their courtship display in hopes of getting their potential mate to breed with them. After the breeding ritual is over, the pair separates. Males find another mate, and females go on to lay eggs and care for the babies.

juvenile male hummingbird

Final Word

Hummingbirds can be aggressive in the following scenarios: when they’re defending the territory, during mating season, when they want intruders away from the feeders, and when they defend the nest. Be mindful when you approach hummingbirds to not scare them away, since they can be skittish.

With this type of bird, males are more aggressive than females. If you’re a bird watcher and have them in your yard, you know they won’t attack you by now. Seeing a hummer buzzing around your head doesn’t mean they’re angry — chances are, they want you to restock the sweet nectar.

Tara Summerville

Tara Summerville is a freelance writer that loves her backyard birdfeeders. She enjoys sitting on her deck with a cup of coffee, watching cardinals, blue jays, finches, and chickadees munch away at her backyard offerings. Her fascination with birds began as a child; spending afternoons at her grandma's house watching and identifying birds. She has since carried her love of songbirds into adulthood and ensures no bird in her yard goes hungry!

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