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Aug 15, 2011

Bald-faced Hornets take over feeder

Photo by BarrytheBirder
There are seven hummingbird feeders in the backyard but only six are regularly visited by the hummingbirds.   The seventh feeder has been taken over by Bald-faced Hornets.   Although Bald-faced Hornets do not rank at the top of either the Sshmidt Sting Pain Index or the Starr Sting Pain Scale, they are nasty creatures to mess with.   Both the male and female are very easily provoked but it is the female that is completely blind to your intentions, as innocent as they may be.   Females are in the habit of stinging repeated when threatened and one female stinging is bad enough, but when dozens or hundreds attack, the results are excruciating.   The photo above was taken with a 300 mm lens so that I maintained a safe distance.   The hummingbirds, except for the odd young, first-season bird will have nothing to do with this feeder or hornets.   The Bald-faced's large size and black and white appearance do make they interesting however.   They should always be approached with caution.
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