wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

Why Didn’t They Migrate?

36 Comments

As I look out my window and it starts to get dark, it is still lighter than usual outside because of the snow. It has been falling all last night and all day today and will probably continue all night tonight. Big avalanches of snow are falling from the fir branches that have now bent as far as they can under the weight of the snow. I hope no little birds get caught in the cascades.

In the previous post I told of having to thaw the hummingbird feeders alternately to keep the sugar water available for these tiny birds. They are very hungry and I’m sure they’re cold.

Here is a very short clip of one of them slurping a last drink before night sets in. You can see the ice beginning to form again in the middle of the feeder.

A hundred times today, I’ve thought about the little hummingbirds and asked myself, “Why didn’t they migrate?”

 

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

36 thoughts on “Why Didn’t They Migrate?

  1. wow…. my free loading hummingbirds left out of here headed to Mexic with the first fairly cold wet day near the end of September 2019.
    Hope the little guy(s) don’t freeze their tiny tail feathers off.

    Happy Gardening

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  2. I found this that might be helpful to you on the Audubon site:

    “If you live in an area where the night-time temperatures dip below freezing regularly you will need to make sure your nectar feeder does not freeze. In areas where the nighttime temperatures only dip slightly below freezing your hummingbird nectar may not freeze as the sugar solution has a lower freezing point than plain water.

    However, it’s better not to have your hummingbirds drink very cold nectar; this can actually cold-stun them. For cold weather feeding, either bring the feeder indoors overnight when it gets cold and put it back outside first thing in the morning (hummingbirds need to feed as early as possible, especially when it’s cold, to keep their energy up) or you can hang an incandescent light bulb near the feeder. These bulbs give off enough heat to keep the feeder warm.”

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    • I wondered about the freezing drinks. I changed the feeders (I have two that I swapped out) about every hour, so an all -day job today. Tomorrow it’s supposed to get above freezing so I hope the little guys made it through tonight and then they should be okay.

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  3. Great video! Perhaps this specific bird never migrated before, stays in the cold? They are here all year, I was walking the neighborhood earlier, I can hear them but not see them! 😍 Neighbourhood in Canada. 🇨🇦

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  4. So beautiful! Poor little beings! 🐦

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  5. I feel like my eyes are playing tricks on me, Anneli. I only see them when it’s warm and toasty. Here is an interesting article. https://www.thespruce.com/hummingbirds-in-winter-386150

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  6. I’m thinking that they don’t migrate; it’s usually warm enough for them to over-winter. I hope they will be all right. It’s so great that you’re putting food out for them. 🙂

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  7. That’s sad that they’re still there and happy that they found your food.

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  8. So much wind and snow over the last two days! I have also been swapping out my feeders,but I also have a thick wool sock pulled over each of the cylinders. The nectar in the container seems to stay thawed but when I checked the feeder I noticed the actual little tubes from where they feed where frozen inside. Poor little things. I may have to invest in the heated feeders that are found in a few feed stores. If only they would move south for the winter.

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    • I like the sock idea, but I also wondered about the little feeding tubes freezing. Poor little birds. I have tomorrow’s feeder ready to put out and will warm up the on that’s out there now after I swap them. It’s going to be a tough time for them. High winds and thawing tomorrow. It’s a miracle they made it this far.

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  9. I would suggest you keep your feeders active. They are most likely here because of you. They trust you.

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    • I definitely have to keep them going now, but I’ll be more careful to make sure the water isn’t icy. I did change the feeders a lot because of them freezing up so quickly but I’ll watch that more carefully. Also it is supposed to warm up tomorrow. It’s going to be a horrible mess with all the wind and rain on top of a foot and a half of snow. The wet clumps falling from the trees could be deadly for some birds.

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  10. You have a lot of work with those hummingbirds. I hope that everybody has those feeders out in the yard for them! I hope that they all make it over the winter.

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    • I know of a few people that have hummingbird feeders out – not that many, but some. It was bitter cold last night and the birds were so desperate, but this morning when I went out to put a new feeder out, two hummingbirds were at the older feeder, almost stuck to it. They weren’t leaving even though I was standing right beside them. So I put out the second feeder right nearby and in a few minutes they had discovered it. It’s much milder today so I think the hummingbirds will be okay.

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  11. It is pretty but very tough on wildlife. The hummingbirds are lucky to have your care.

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  12. May God protect them 🙂

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  13. Weather patterns all over the world all screwed up. Poor birds weren’t ready for such extremes.

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    • I checked again to see if they are supposed to be migrating, and most do, but the rufous hummingbird is staying in these northern areas more frequently. Apparently they can weather the cold as long as they have enough food and shelter. I went out onto the icy deck again this morning (before daylight) to bring in the feeders to thaw. Moments after I had hung them back up, two (desperate) hummingbirds came along for breakfast.

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  14. I’d wonder about that too. Climate change? They’re gone here until spring. While trudging through the snow yesterday, I saw my bulbs peeking from the ground.

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  15. I love hummingbirds and have plants that attract them. I don’t have feeders. Like you I often wonder why they don’t head south in winter

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  16. I have no hummingbirds. Could it be I have no feeder for them?

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