The rufous hummingbird has a temper. This tiny bird
defends the commons with intensity.
But the air, water and habitable earth are resources meant for all.
And the bully bird burns life-saving calories to hold its ground.
When one bully bird chases other hummers away for hours,
no one else can eat and other birds are frazzled.
The angriest birds may still be aggressive well into the fall
as they defend prime feeding territories to prepare for migration.
If hovering in front of the intruder doesn’t work, a hummingbird
may fly high above before diving straight down.
The base of the dive is marked with a sharp chirp sound,
made from the tail feather position, to unwelcome guests.
Google’s Hummingbird algorithm has a stranglehold on search,
but will it be enough to stave off a hungry competitor?
Hummers that do not yield to the bully
may be killed in flight by a needle-like bill and sharp talons.
The hummingbird is the only bird that can fly backwards.