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Hummingbird Mating

How Does a Male Hummingbird Go About Attracting A Female?

Hummingbird mating is an amazing event to watch. The male Hummingbird in his quest for attracting a female puts on an elaborate aerial show. 

costas male hummingbird matingCostas Male In Hummingbird Mating Aerial Display

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First, the male stakes out a territory that will provide a source of food and a safe place for raising baby birds.

Not that the male participates in the activities of nesting but he does want to provide for the needs of his family.

While he must constantly defend his turf the male Hummingbird must also work at finding a mate.

The Hummingbird mating  process is a simple but dramatic affair.

The female Hummingbird sits quietly on a branch waiting for the male to impress her with visual and audio displays.

The male makes a series of impressive deep arcing swoops to catch her attention.

Why is a "Gorget" Important to Hummingbird Mating?

male ruby-throated hummingbirdMale Ruby Throated Hummingbird With Flaming Gorget

The visual display of the male is accentuated by flashing colours created by his “gorget”. The “gorget” is the flat iridescent feathers around the neck, that flash brightly when the sun is reflected on them at certain angles.

Consequently, the more he swoops and dives, the greater the number of angles the sun can catch the brilliant colours of his feathers.

The better the show, the better the chances of catching the attention of the female.

Perhaps one could suggest that for the female Hummingbird, the male’s gorget is the diamonds of their world.

“Gorgets are a female Hummingbird's best friend” has a similar ring to “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. ;)

A note about the “Gorgets”: Although the gorgets are used during Hummingbird matin, they have another purpose.

They are like human fingerprints.

The pattern created by the gorgets is different on each Hummingbird.

They are used to make a statement in territorial disputes reminding other males that this male with this particular pattern is "Lord" of this area.

purple head hummingbirdShowing Purple Gorget

What do Hummingbird Mating Songs Sound Like?

From “G’s” to “Zee’s”

Just like humans, the female Hummingbird enjoys being serenaded. To this end the male adds to his arsenal of weapons for attracting females by “singing”. As he swoops about displaying the rich colors of his gorget he chirps, buzzes and "zees".

male rufous hummingbirdMale Rufous in Courting Attire

The whole process of Hummingbird mating seems very arduous for such little creatures, especially when you consider that Hummingbirds do not mate for life. Each spring after migrating from their winter habitat, the male must start the whole process over again.

After the wooing process is completed, the female will drive the male away and his participation in the process is finished until mating season the next year.

Now the female sets out raising baby birds alone.

Awesome Video of Male Hummer Singing and Dancing

More Interesting Information About Hummingbirds here & In Sidebar above

  • Attracting Hummingbirds is not that hard. There are ways to make attracting these beautiful little birds to your backyard easier for hours of enjoyment.
  • Hummingbirds’ Migration is a marvel when you think about the tiniest bird on the planet, flying thousands of miles each year and not just once but twice. How do they do it against the wind, inclement weather and find enough food?
  • Hummingbird Habitat is vastly varied, spanning a diverse set of geographic areas. Tiny creatures with mighty spirits!

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