hummingbird feeding in the winter

tangodudeDecember 3, 2007

I found out today (Dec. 3rd) that I should not be feeding hummers here in Washington (Seattle AREA) this time of year due to the cold. Is this true??

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rita_h(PNW 8b)

Where did you hear that? We have resident Anna's hummingbirds year-round. I don't see why we should stop feeding them now, of all days. I'm in Portand Oregon and my sugar usage is higher now than during the summer.

Last week when the temperature dropped to 25 degrees, the 3-to-1 sugar mix in the feeder froze. The hummers perched nearby and seemed to wait for us to thaw it out, chitting impatiently the whole time.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 11:38AM
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boxofrox(z8 PNW)


I've got Annas but I've just been feeding 4:1 Should I go to 3:1 for the next batch? I've got a spotting scope on a tripod next to my recliner so I can see them better, I just love the little buggers :-)

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 5:32PM
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rita_h(PNW 8b)

They sure are a sweet sight in the dreary weather, aren't they? I read that both ratios are in the range of naturally occuring sugar concentrations in flowering plants so either ratio should be ok. I go to 3:1 in the cold months because it has a lower freezing point.

They might visit a feeder with a 4:1 mix more often, though, because they get a bit less sugar with each sip.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 5:02PM
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terri_pacnw(z7-8 WA)

I've got two of them..I broke their favorite feeder yesterday had to go to the back up..not their fav..but will have to do till I can find a replacment!
I went to 3:1 in the batch yesterday. Up until them..I was at 4:1.
I live on Whidbey.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 5:15PM
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boxofrox(z8 PNW)

Fred Meyer had those saucer ones they really seem to like on closeout at 50% off when I bought mine. I have it mounted on a steel flower spike in a raised bed on the other side of my hot tub.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 5:36PM
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I live in Bothell, Wa. Was surprised to see hummingbirds feeding in my window feeder in November. Now it is December, thy are still here. I thought they migrated to the south for winter.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 9:02PM
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rita_h(PNW 8b)

Rufous hummingbirds are migratory and head south for winter, but Anna's hummingbirds live here year-round. We're so lucky in this regard...

This morning, I had a large flicker at the suet feeder hung about 8 feet from the hummer feeder. He was being buzzed by a male Anna's -- the tiny 3-inch hummer was fearless against what to him must be a giant 14-inch godzilla! (The flicker just ignored him and went on feeding.)

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 11:37AM
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I wrapped my feeder in Christmas lights last night to prevent freezing, and the critters seem to be in the holiday spirit. Of my three feeders, the lighted one has now become the most protected.

Three feeders, and 5 hummingbirds challenging for a domain. I'm completely entertained!!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 7:26PM
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Over wintering Anna's don't mind the cold - I've had them sitting on nearby perches in snowstorms and frigid weather waiting not so patiently for me to attend to the feeder. And since they do over winter commonly in the Puget Sound area, it is more important than ever to provide winter feeding stations, as other food sources are so limited. As a matter of fact, my feeders tend to be up ONLY in the winter months, as there are more than enough nectar sources to keep 'em happy during the growing season and I don't have to worry about wasps or cleaning the feeders everyday.

My primary feeder is under the eaves of my front porch and somewhat protected and has only frozen a couple of times in very cold weather. If I remember, I try to bring it in at night if temps are predicted to drop a lot and rehang first thing in the morning.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 11:40AM
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terri_pacnw(z7-8 WA)

Well my two have been very active the last few days..used to be I'd see one at a time..and the most dominate one would chase "her" off..Then I thought maybe I had to males, just one was young..I'm still not sure..But the dominate male is a beauty! Any way..yesterday they were together and playing and sitting and feeding and sitting and playing..

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 9:03PM
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