Hummingbird and Hornet

I had more luck with hummingbirds visiting my oriole feeder than orioles. Unfortunately, hornets seem to like it too.

On this particular afternoon I have a ruby throated hummingbird happily sipping at the nectar, and then a hornet shows up.  They do a bit of a stand off and then go to opposite sides to feed.

The hummingbird doesn’t trust the hornet at all and considering how small a hummingbird is, a sting could be fatal if it were stung. I haven’t found any reports of that actually happening though.

The one good thing seems to be that the hornets aren’t especially interested in the hummingbirds.  Eating up the nectar is a lot easier than fighting, and holds their interest more.

From what I’m reading moving the feeder into the shade can help lower the number of hornets. That might be something I’ll have to do if I get a lot more hornets coming around.

I’ve set up another feeder at the front of the house. I don’t have hornets at that one, at least not yet. It’s also visited by females and another male that doesn’t seem to be quite as dominant as this one.  If I can I want to keep the oriole feeder going to try and keep the peace between hummingbirds.

Another thing that can be done to help keep hornets and bees away from feeders is to set out saucers of nectar for them. The idea is that they go to the saucers instead of the feeders. On the down side it could also attract a lot more hornets, so you might end up moving the hummingbird feeders farther away.

I don’t have a lot of hornets this year but I’ll definitely keep an eye on things to see if the situation gets any worse. If things get too busy with too many of them I’ll have to move this feeder to make sure the hummingbirds keep coming around and are safe.



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