Tabachine with Hummingbird: FOTD May 9, 2020

Click on photos to enlarge. A video of the hummingbird is at the end. Unfortunately, by the time I thought to take a video, it was his last run and I didn’t really capture the butterfly.

 

Yesterday I watched a hummingbird sitting on a branch of the pistachio tree and guarding this tabachine. First a monarch butterfly and then a large black swallowtail butterfly repeatedly tried to sip nectar from blossoms on this tree and every time, the hummingbird swooped down and attacked them and drove them away. This went on hundreds of times over an hour period. I never saw the hummingbird feeding at the bush. I inspected it closely and there was no nest in either the tabachine or the pistachio. He was just being mean! After an hour, when the butterflies finally gave up, the hummingbird finally flew away as well. I have never seen a hummingbird stay still without feeding for that long. In between chasings, he sat still on that branch for at least an hour. Here are photos I took of the pistachio and the tabachine. And that nasty hummer.

Be sure to click on photos to enlarge your view. The third photo shows the distance between the tabachine in the foreground and the pistachio tree with the hammock I was observing from behind it. They weren’t really in close proximity

 

And here is the little hummer. I put out a feeder for him today. Hopefully he’ll now leave the butterflies alone.

 

 

 

For Cee’s FOTD
and, for Sunday Trees.

21 thoughts on “Tabachine with Hummingbird: FOTD May 9, 2020

  1. SAM VOELKER

    I have never seen them attack a butterfly but they will spend all of their time keeping other hummingbirds away, even from their own brood, On my feeders they look like dive bombers at each other and I go between laughing and angry at their antics…..Are hummingbirds the Conservatives of the bird world~? Those nest are really difficult to see~!

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Yes, I’ve seen them territorial with other hummingbirds, but not with butterflies!! That bush has been the domain of dozens of butterflies at a time for 19 years. They come in swells according to their colors: yellow swallowtail, black swallowtail, monarch, tan, yellow, white, black. Never saw this happen before, but then I’ve never spent this much time down there before.

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  2. slmret

    I know that hummingbirds are fiercely territorial, though I didn’t realize it was inter-species. It’s fascinating to me that this played out over such a long period of time as an hour without the hummingbird feeding in between runs at the butterflies!

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      1. SAM VOELKER

        Though it is said the male does not take care during the nesting, I beg to differ. Both the black chin and ruby throat around me will sit on a twig ten to twenty feet from the nest and attack anything that comes along, including birds. Being so territorial why would their nest not be included~?

        If you have a place to hang your hammock near the tree you will soon locate the nest, which is very difficult, but when feeding she will alight nearby then slowly work her way to the nest. I have some nice photos I have taken of nest, A good multi-tasking activity, lying in hammock and finding a hummingbird nest at the same time.

        Not many people realize that hummingbirds, especially when migrating need protein and about 80 percent of their diet is bugs and insects, but they would be crazy to take on a butterfly~! (but what do I know)

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        1. lifelessons Post author

          There is no female..no nest. just this crusty little creature running away everything in sight except for me and the dogs. And it doesn’t bother wasps. No other hummingbirds are even trying to come close. About to go down and observe again.

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          1. SAM VOELKER

            I thought she might be setting on the nest.. Mine are out there fighting over the feeders which I just refilled, like bees. Usually do not see this many at one time until later when they fledge. Do you get the Calliope there~? I have never seen one. But I do get the hummingbird moth. The first time I saw one, I did not know what it was, It sounds and looks like a hummingbird until it lights then you realize that it is not a bird at all….

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            1. lifelessons Post author

              I have the caterpillars every year. I’ve posted some amazing photos of them..but have never seen the moth itself. So strange. Don’t know where they go.I never kill them but relocate them into the lot below me as they poop all over my terrace table.

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            2. SAM VOELKER

              The first few times I saw them I thought they were just smaller hummingbirds, but then once I figured them out, I then could spot them. The caterpillars actually drop down into the grass to enter the pupal stage. Don’t remember having a caterpillar poop problem, among my many others. Ha~! I know that they like honeysuckle and the like. Do you have a lot of milkweed~? That is one thing that I have a lot of and I am lucky with butterflies around my place, this seems to be a main fly way for them.

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      2. slmret

        There might be a nest nearby — hummingbird nests are tiny, about the size of a silver dollar! When I had a large tree in my back yard, I almost ran into one, forehead first — the bird never moved as she sat on the egg.

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  3. SAM VOELKER

    But yours does not look like mine, which are green with one line of spots down the sides and a little horn on it’s tail with big eyes,,,, I have photos but will need to find them,,, Funny when I went looking at the many versions, I happened on only one that looked like yours and WOW, it was taken by a lady in Mexico by name of Judy Dykstra Brown…Maybe she lives near you, Meanwhile you have me researching this, Maybe we found a new one called the elusive table pooper worm which poops, pupates, and flies away, blaming it on a hummingbird.

    I got there by googling: ” photos of hummingbird moth caterpillars “

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  4. SAM VOELKER

    Judy when I looked at the URL you sent, I only looked at the first one with the awful looking worm, which I have never seen before, but I missed the second one, When I went back and looked at the second one, YES the green one is exactly like the ones I have here…..

    My place is much more spread out than yours, so I have no problem with the worms, If they mess on a table, I just move the table, Ha~! and I have hooks in several trees so I can move my hammocks to where I can watch what is going on… Contrary to what is said, most of the hummingbirds seem to nest higher up around here. I also have catalpa worms on the catalpa trees down near my creek.

    When I was growing up in Louisiana the catalpa worm was my favorite bate for bass fishing. If I fish in my lakes now days, I only use lures, and always put the fish back because I enjoy seeing them in the clear water, but I only fish when kids come by. I like fried catfish but buy them fresh,

    You do know that I am Marion Couvillion, don’t you ~??? just being funny both times~! Of course I know who you are~! I am named after Francis Marion, The swamp fox, which runs in my mothers family. When I first went off to California to school, the name Marion caused me problems, those dumb people considered it female. My sister, Myra, who just passed away was two years older and already was being called “Mike”, so that was out for me, so I came up with SAM, which is an acronym and stands for Same As Marion. Later I was referred to “Smiling Sam the Working Girls Friend”… See you need to know more about your correspondents, I control how many I have to save confusion and also to cut back on trash~! My Facebook is kept at 80 and when I add one, I look for one to get rid of~! Right now I am at 81 so need to pick one out who is not paying attention and zap them. Actually I still am not completely happy with wordpress……but need it to help me organize years of writing but they seem to be more slanted toward commercial. I find email cleaner to deal with.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      I knew you were Marion, then forgot–thought she was a woman.. then was surprised she was also Sam without linking it to you.. then figured you were one.. will probably forget again. When you said you’d seen a post by Judy Dykstra-Brown with the green version of the hummingbird moth caterpillar, did you know it was me or were you kidding? Not always easy to understand. I thought my blog always contained my name but see that they are still using Lifelessons. Oh well. It will keep us smart trying to remember all this.

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      1. SAM VOELKER

        YES thanks, I finally put it all together. I see the green ones on the plants then as I said mine drop down into the grass and I never see them again until they pop up out of the grass looking a lot like a small hummingbird. I have never searched for the pupa stage in the grass and guess I never will, but now I know what I missed, thanks you can teach an old dog new tricks, it just takes a little push and a nudge.

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  5. SAM VOELKER

    Well get that “she” out of your mind
    and we will get along just fine~!
    That is the reason SAM came to be,
    and even today it still upsets me.

    I am bad with verbal jokes,
    our mutual friend, Janet, also chokes.
    So if you see a statement that makes no sense,
    say so, and I will recompense.

    Also misspelled bait, I know better; maybe my French must have pushed me.

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