Hummers are fierce. How do I know? Well, we have had a group of 7 frequenting two feeders for years with usually one obnoxious male guarding the stash along with one dominant female as silent partner. As often stated, one never grows tired of watching incredible aerial acrobatics and threat posturing to the nth degree in the birds' endless pursuit to get access to the all important sugar water when insects and flower nectar become increasingly scarce.
John Vance Cheney wrote that verse, but let’s not point fingers. He has plenty of poetic company, all seduced by the color, beauty and teeny tininess of the hummingbird but failed to notice the ferocity burning in its rapidly beating heart.
The Aztecs weren’t fooled. Their god of war, Huitzilopochtli, was a hummingbird. The Aztecs loved war, and they loved the beauty of the birds as well. It seems they didn’t find any contradiction in the marriage of beauty and bloodthirsty aggression.
In the Aztec religion, Huitzilopochtli (Classical Nahuatl: Huītzilōpōchtli [wiːt͡siloːˈpoːt͡ʃt͡ɬi], About this soundmodern Nahuatl pronunciation (help·info)) is a deity of war, sun, human sacrifice, and the patron of the city of Tenochtitlan.
Ferocity personified indeed. :)