Silly question--Where do hummers sleep?

DurtGrrl(z7 MiddleTN)September 22, 2005

I've googled this (albeit half-heartedly, when I know there is a giant storehouse of hummer wisdom here! :) ) but I can't figure out where they sleep! I've learned about torpor and their nests--but after nesting season, do they go back to the nest? Where do they go at night?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and any references you could point me to.



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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

That's a very personal question. But a good one. I sure don't know. I do see them perching in the large spruces. That would be my bet for their evenings.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 3:50PM
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I am not certian where they sleep but I learned that at night, or any time they cannot get enough food to fuel themselves - Hummingbirds (and frogs) go into torpor - a state in which their metabolic rate is only one-fifteenth that of normal sleep. This kind of torpor usually happens with small animals for different reasons. They can get their food [like insects] for only part of the day. Since these are small creatures, they canÂt eat and store enough to keep their bodies active all the time. The animals adapt by Âsleeping through the times when it would be hard to get food. By doing this, their bodies use less energy and their food lasts longer in their bodies. They wake up when they can get food again. As with frogs, the air is just too cold at night. It will go to Âsleep [into torpor], its heartbeat and breathing will slow down, and less energy [food] will be needed to keep it warm.
Most animals are in danger during torpor or hibernation. They are so slow and unaware of what is happening around them that they are easy to catch.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 6:30PM
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alan_la(10A s Cal)

Humminon, is on the right track,They just go wherever it's safe to spend the night.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 9:55PM
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DurtGrrl(z7 MiddleTN)

LOL @ Harryshoe! I guess it is personal. The torpor subject is amazing (thinks back to Bio 101--wish I'd paid more attention!). I'll keep looking--I am thinking that I want to ensure with my additional landscaping this next year that I provide enough cover for the hummers. No big spruces but they do love to hang out in the crepe myrtle and birdberry!
Thanks y'all! :)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 11:32PM
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rita_h(PNW 8b)

The local hummers around here nest and generally hang out within the fine protective branches of an arborvitae hedge. I figure they sleep there, too, as I see them nearby in evenings and early mornings.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 8:43PM
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DurtGrrl(z7 MiddleTN)

Rita--thanks for the observation about the arborvitae hedge. I'll keep watching the ones left in my yard to try to determine where they go and what type of shrub/tree is preferred. Also found some good info on gardening for hummers beyond flowers in a bird book at the library :)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 5:30PM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

A lot of mine sleep in my Confederate Rose, which is right next to lots of feeders, my mesquite trees and my palm trees, in addition to some other trees.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 6:50PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

They sleep in trees and shrubs (sorry I couldn't resist). They will roost in pine trees and small branched trees if they are available or in wooded lots where there is protection.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 10:20AM
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I think mine spend the nights in my tall spruce. They are always going in there.
A friend told me that he saw one hanging upside down off the perch of a hummingbird feeder and thought it was damaged and went out and touched it and the poor little thing fell to the ground. He picked it up and took it into his house and soon when it moved around , he took it back outside. He said it then flew away..
I told him that the bird was ok , it was just sleeping.. Said he never knew that..
Now he knows enough to not disturb it again if that happens..

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 7:58PM
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Do the hummingbirds sleep in groups like chickens do when it gets dark? I see other birds nesting together, and wondered if that was the case for hummers.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 8:30PM
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from everything ive read hummers are loners not to say several wouldnt sleep in the same tree or bush. For instance in august at first light as I sit outside with my coffee I will see several come in to perch in a tree in front yard before feeding easily 8-10 at least.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 1:12AM
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This was a good and interesting post-thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 12:02PM
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