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Ever Too Cold to Feed Hummers?

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We are having abnornally cold weather.  Hard freeze last night and the next 3 nights.  Daytime high today did not break 32.   Tomorrow will be a little better, mid 30s, and Christmas Day, lower 40s.  We have a couple of Rufous Hummingbirds feeding in the yard.  They first tried the Salvia coccinea but it is not too heavy with blooms right now, so they went for the feeder, which was frozen solid.  I put out fresh food, and will bring it in before sunset.  My question:  Is it ever too cold for the birds to feed on the liquid in the feeders?  I would think the little fellows/gals would get hypothermic pretty quickly...although they might warm up quickly the way they move around.  



Edited by floraphile
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An Anna’s hummingbird last year survived in my city until the end of January. By that time it already survived a few months of below freezing temps and sometimes multiple weeks of below -20c. Only food source for it was multiple liquid feeders in someone’s yard. I think she had a heat lamp going for both the bird and to keep the feeders from freezing. 
It only died (never came back the next morning) when we had a cold snap that went below -30c for a few days.
So they should be fine, and probably appreciative!

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  • 1 month later...

If they've stayed around because of the available food supply your feeders may well be the only thing that gets them through a cold snap. Pulling them may leave them without a sufficient food supply at all. Calories are lifesaving even if they are nearly eating a popsicle. 

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We live in an area that only has one or two hard freezes in Winter and the ground never freezes, so we usually have a few flowers about, so the birds would have back-up options.   My concern with the feeders was the little things getting hypothermic from the feeder liquid when we did have a run of freezing temperatures around Christmas, as the birds likely take in a lot more liquid from the feeders than they would from nectar sources.  They did fine, BTW, including the Buff-bellied we have had since December.  

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