Hummingbird in Winter!!

sclindalDecember 14, 2008

hey I was reading an article about hummingbirds in winter on here and it said to post in the forum...

I live in Victoria, BC, Canada and it is quite unusual for us to see them still...

there is only one as far as we can tell, and it keeps coming back to our feeder, so we refilled it. please help us with who to contact and such ...



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We have them here in Renton, Washington. We have snow today and when I got up this morning the feeders were frozen and a little Hummer was sitting in the tree chirping at me. We usually have at least one (that we know of) in the winter, but I, too, read the note about reporting it here.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 2:13PM
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I live in Bothell, Washington and have had one at my feeder all day today and he was chasing another one off. I got rid of the ice in the feeder and will have to bring the feeders in at night and put them out in the morning I guess. I know it's going to get even colder and I don't know how they are going to survive this?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 4:50PM
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I live in La Center, WA. We have hummingbirds too. This morning was 20 F (10F windchill). They were up and feeding just after daybreak. The only challenge is swapping the feeders over because they freeze within 90 mins. Hope they survive tonight - 16 F forecast!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 1:17PM
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Just reporting that one hummingbird came to our empty feeder so my husband raced and refilled it. We are going to rotate them in and out and hope we help him. I will post pics shortly. Which organization tracks the reporting that I read about?

Here is a link that might be useful: Paradise Plumbing Northwest

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 2:22PM
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rita_h(PNW 8b)

It's 20 deg F in Portland OR, and will stay in the 20's all week... we put lightbulbs over & under the feeders to try to keep them liquid. Kept the feeders in the house overnight so they wouldn't freeze solid. The hummers couldn't wait until we put them out, and started feeding while we were hanging it. Lots of activity around the seed feeders, too.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 3:56PM
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Redmond, WA Sat, Dec 13 I watched a hummingbird go from flower to flower on a Pineapple sage, the only plant blooming. It stayed for 10 or 15 minutes. Someone had had a feeder there in the summer, but has taken it down...There were a few flakes falling and the forecast is for a couple more weeks of temps in the 20's and 30's.
We always see them in the summer. That same day one came to the last snapdragon bloom on our back deck.

So I got 2 hummingbird feeders and put one in the garden and one on the back deck... One came with some Nectar, so I used that, also added some 3-1 syrup with plain sugar. So far it doesn't seem to have frozen...

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 2:59AM
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I'm in Eugene, OR and have a male & female pair of hummingbirds that showed up at my empty feeder last week in the midst of this horrid weather. Did the same as all of you... ran in and made a batch of nectar. They feed off and on all day, clear til dark time @ 5p. I thought for sure they'd be goners when we set a record overnite low of 10 degrees the other nite, but they were back the next morning! As you guys, I switch feeders and bring it in overnite to keep it from freezing. Do you all think they will stay all winter???? I'm new to this website, are we able to post pics? I got a pretty good one this morning. I'm looking for other websites that might track birds not in their normal migration pattern. Any ideas?
Pretty puzzling for such a tiny, delicate creature!!!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 11:36PM
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rita_h(PNW 8b)

It's 34 degrees this morning -- it feels so warm compared to the teens. It's nice to not worry about the hummer feeder freezing solid during the day when we're at work!

nannee-knitter, your hummers are probably local resident Annas rather than migrants, so if there's a good food source they'll stick around nearby.

This time of year, all the birds seem much more tame... we can get within inches of the hummers, nuthatches, and chickadees when they're feeding.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 2:23PM
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Lots of hummers here in Lynnwood, Wa. I've been keeping a light during the day on my feeders to keep them thawed during the freeze, and bringing them in at night. It amazes me that these little creatures can survive these temps in the teens during the nights. But each morning they are back and I'm so relieved to see them! :-)
Lynnwood, WA

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 7:41PM
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We had one hummingbird show up about two weeks ago.....I was so surprised to see I immediately made up a batch of food. He seemed to disappear last week, but then I saw him back at the frozen feeder last week, so brought it in and put new food in it and hung it out. Our temps have been in the teens, and of course I've been very worried about the little guy. I have been changing the food every 2 hrs or so, and bring it in at night.

This morning there were two birds at the feeder 1/2 frozen, it seemed, shaking. When I reached for the feeder I practically had to bump one of them off so I could bring it in and thaw it out.

I am going to go get a second feeder tomorrow and try putting it in the greenhouse next to the light...which is right next to the door.........the feeder would be inches from the door opening.

Anyway...........this is certainly is an exceptional experience for us.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 11:45PM
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I have at least 2 Anna's at my feeders in Ashland, OR. I am bringing the feeders in at night and putting them out by sunrise. We had a very cold day where the feeder was freezing in about 2 hours.

I have all saucer type feeders (humzinger and oasis). I got the thin bubble wrap type insulation from the local hardware store and removable "Duck" tape. I cut the insulation to fit the bottom of the feeder and taped it in place with some slack and a slit to accommodate a disposable hand warmer. It seems to produce some warmth but I haven't had a cold enough day since to give it a real test. I did this because I don't have a light fixture or outlet nearby to either use an outdoor light or pipe heat tape.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 2:01AM
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I read somewhere that the hummingbird nectar you can get at pet shops has some essential proteins which makes it more nutritious for hummingbirds as opposed to the traditional water/sugar mixture. Does anyone have any further information about this?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 11:22AM
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nomadic(z8 PNW)

I live on the 15th floor and have at least two that get up here. During the snowstorm I coiled a warming wire (got it from a nursery for seed germination) around the feeder to keep the sugar solution from freezing. It's very effective and gives off low heat without melting the feeder.
Neeka, I've read somewhere that they have their protein sources, including small insects. They also mention that commercial solutions may end up being more harmful due to red coloring or other additives.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 1:11AM
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florindae(4 / 5)

We have had a hummingbird on our feeder in SE Alaska until early December. Normally they leave in August so after they were gone I took the feeders down. Then in October we noticed a young straggling hummingbird in one of the bushes in our backyard. I brought the feeder out again since there were no blooming plants around.

To keep the feeder from freezing up we installed a 200 Watt spotlight with a reflector about 10" to 12" inches from the feeder. It kept the nectar from freezing.
Sadly December 21 was the last time the bird was seen. We had some very cold temperatures at the time. He sat on the perch for about 30 minutes and then flew away. Hopefully to warmer quarters.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 7:26PM
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Saw Hummingbird December 30 in Lacey, WA. Why are they still around?

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 12:28PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

danjess, the Anna's are year round WA residents here on this side of the mountains. I've fed them winters the last few years, last year (colder) I was bringing two feeders in after dark, returning them unfrozen before daylight the next morning - I would find hummingbirds feeding about a half hour before it was really light out.

We moved several blocks away Nov 22, are still feeding at the old house that we haven't listed for sale yet. Every time I stop there, hummingbirds in the vicinity or using the feeders. I hung a feeder here at the new house and it was being used the next day, didn't take them long to find it. In fact, when I do sell the other house I'll bring those here and hang them in front. I noticed a hummer darting around outside my new home office window and couldn't think why for a minute - I'd placed a holiday wreath with red bow at the door and that must have been attracting them.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 4:30PM
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janalyn(sw BC)

This is the second year in a row that we have had Anna's - I live in Vancouver quite high on the mountain slopes and have never seen so many Annas. I was reading our local newspaper today and one of the professional birders noted the unusually high numbers of Annas, who are resident year round.

Last year we put a plumber wire for pipes around one of the feeders and foam insulation to keep the sugar nectar from freezing. I feel terrible when it snows and these huge cotton balls of snow fall - its like dodge ball out there for them. :)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 9:04PM
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