Winter Hummingbirds

Winter Hummingbirds 

One of the things that keeps me amused around these parts is the nonsense that gets spread around without anybody checking to see if the advice or information is correct.

For longer than I can remember, people have tried to predict the weather based on this or that.

One of the whoppers that still circulates around is that you have to take your hummingbird feeders down for the winter so that the hummingbirds will leave and not freeze.

Stuff and nonsense!

People, it just isn’t true.

I defer to the wise and wonderful, Bird Chick (Sharon Stiteler) who quite eloquently said:

You do not need to take your hummingbird feeder in on Labor Day. It is a myth, an old wives’ tale and completely not true that if you leave your hummingbird feeder outside that you will prevent them from migrating south. I know humans as a whole are a powerful species, but really, we do not have that much control over hummingbird migration (Trumpeter Swans, maybe, but not hummingbirds). Their migration has more to do with daylight length and insect availability than your little nectar feeder. Read the rest…

Despite the facts, people still want to believe they need to remove their feeders.

However, studies that capture birds, band them, and then recaptures them have found the litter hummers survive winter conditions fine on their own.

Plus, they frequent both their breeding grounds and winter feeding areas annually.

Yep, year after year.

So if you have the right plants, feeders, and appropriate habitat, the word is that you are helping them out not causing trouble during the fall and winter.

Feeders are a pain but in the winter you have to fight to keep that feeding solution from freezing instead of going bad or being consumed by ants.

I’ve discovered that there is a whole strategy for keeping those feeders operating.

Some use heat sources, while others swap different feeders each day, or bring them in at night.

The more I get into birding, the more I discover, but I liked this nice little quote and thought I should share it:

Hummingbirds are a lot tougher than they look. As one hummingbird bander has pointed out, could you survive outside in four degree F temperatures and nine inches of snow? Hummingbirds can and do so, given the right habitat and resources, and it appears to be the norm rather than the exception. Read the rest and find some good tips here…

Now wildlife gardening is all the rage.

Personally, I think that is funny since I live in a wildlife area and a corridor to the lake.

Imagine working to attract wildlife!

Personally, I try and keep ’em behaved and in the woods where they belong.

But then I love when the critters use my shoveled stairs and deck as a shortcut.

And, well, the birds know my rule…if it is snowing heavily and the ground is covered with inches of snow, I will put out some food.

The little suckers show up in the aspen and gaze into the window until I give in!

Smart little feather brains!

Anyway, if you are interested in more hummingbird information, check out the Hummingbird Garden ForumCornell Birds, get tips from Avian Web, or listen to Bird Note about the special adaptation called, noctivation.

Special thanks to Snoop Sister Deb for her inspiration for this.

Things have been slow–so your ideas are always welcome!

Photo Credit: AeroDesign (Hummingbird)

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 and is filed under Birding, Mountain Lake Resort, Small Town Living.

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