On Tuesday I returned to the holly tree to discover a lone male hummingbird sitting high in the branches. He periodically took short flights to feed on blossoms the tree had produced before returning to hold vigil against intruders from his chosen lookout. No other birds were seen or heard. It appeared that either the hummingbird dispute had ended in victory for the bird that was present, or his two rivals were elsewhere at the moment tending to other matters.
Returning to the tree today I discovered a sub-adult female Anna's Hummingbird sitting in nearly the same position as the male that I encountered on Tuesday. As I watched her, a male flew in and hovered nearby, but she barraged him with seemingly angry chatter that sent him retreating to a high alder branch above. The birds had two or three more verbal exchanges during the following ten minutes, but neither moved from its perch. I left them to continue the discussion in my absence, but I couldn't help but wonder what new dynamic will have developed within this group of tiny competitors the next time I visit this disputed tree.