The Hummingbird, the God of War

May 14, 2022 Birds, Birds from Colombia

Whenever we visualize a hummingbird, we imagine it is fragile and delicate, but nothing is further from reality, as they are fierce fighters and very territorial.

The hummingbird, Huitzilopochtli, was the god of the sun and war tactics in the Mexica or Aztec culture. Its name means “left-handed hummingbird,” always on the move, like our heart.

Why do hummingbirds fight?

Hummingbirds chase and fight each other to defend their territory. They want to ensure as much nectar as possible and spend a great deal of their day protecting large areas of flowers or even an entire flowering tree.

The males want to demonstrate dominance in a specific area to attract females in breeding periods. Nesting females guard the territory near their nest.

How do they defend their territory?

hummingbirds fight
hummingbirds fight

They initially have warning vocalizations to threaten and intimidate any intruder entering their territory. Depending on the species, they produce a loud and persistent screech, increasing volume and intensity.

hummingbirds fight

Then they turn aggressive and use attack postures to chase the intruders. They spread their tail and wing feathers to appear bigger and more dangerous. They also use their beak and show their heels pointing toward the enemies.

Finally, they fight fiercely. After being intimidated, the dominant hummingbird hovers in the air waiting for the intruder to return. Then, he will use its sharp beak and claws as weapons.

They can collide their bodies in flight and use their beaks as swords, causing severe injury or even death to their opponent.


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