There are many astonishing facts about hummingbird mating.
In the Eastern United States and Canada mating of the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird begins in early spring upon return from their remarkable migration from Mexico and Central America.
In the western United States other species such as the Anna’s Hummingbird start to mate in late December and early January.
A GREAT PERFORMANCE
It is the female who chooses her mate in all species.
Male hummingbirds are aggressive in attracting females.
They duel beak to beak in mid air.
What female can resist the stunningly handsome male hummingbird with his beautiful iridescent feathers and dashing gorget?
The mating dive is an astonishing showy flight with many loops and zigzags.
Usually the male flies up to an unbelievable 150 feet in the air and then plummets straight down pulling up just before impact.
The courtship dive of the Anna’s Hummingbird is the most spectacular of all.
This bird falls comparably faster than a jet fighter at full throttle or even the Space Shuttle entering the atmosphere!
Despite this showy performance, the male hummingbird does not mate for life.
He does not help the female in any way to build her nest or care for her chicks.
He simply waits to mate with the next females that enter his territory.
MUSIC TO HER EARS
Hummingbirds make many sounds during courtship.
These chirps and whistles are very enticing to the female bird.
An interesting fact about the Anna’s Hummingbird is that research has proven that some of the mating vocals are not vocal at all.
Instead, the loud sounds are actually created by the bird’s tail feathers.
This is a fascinating adaptation due to the bird’s tiny vocal cords.
Overall, there are some differences and similarities among species in regard to hummingbird mating.
We have only attempted to highlight several here.