A few days ago I noticed a praying mantis perched above the feeder ports on one of my hummingbird feeders. I assumed it was attempting to capture insects that are often drawn to the nectar in the feeders. I was wrong.
After watching the mantis for about an hour, I noticed it was ignoring wasps and other insects, but was snatching at hummingbirds whenever they dared to get within reach.
A friend of mine shared this video with me, and it confirms what I was seeing: praying mantises are capable of capturing hummingbirds.
This little drama is going on as I type in my front yard. I've been standing with my camera set on movie-mode, but so far only have video footage of the mantis turning as hummingbirds approach, no attempted strikes.
I'm not sure what I will do if I actually see a mantis capture a hummingbird, but I'll probably do the same thing the photographer in this video did... I'll try to rescue the hummer.
Who knew bugs could stalk and capture birds?