About those Hummingbirds in the Snow

When I woke this morning it was 18 degrees outside. The snow was deep, dry and sparkly and the moon was still out.

I was waiting for the day to fully dawn before putting the hummingbird feeders back outside. I knew they depended on me.

Yesterday I was looking out my kitchen window when a hummer caught my eye. I don’t have feeders at the window and never have; the feeders are across the backyard next to the fence.

But there he was, this sweet little Anna’s hovering at the window to get my attention. “Hey Sue! The nectar you gave us is frozen solid!”

Indeed it was!

I hurried outside with a replacement and promised to do better. So last night I brought the feeders in and hung them again this morning. It wasn’t long before the hummers were back for breakfast.

Some of you wondered that hummingbirds were here at all – in Seattle in the middle of winter.

According to Seattle Audobon, of the four hummingbird species found in Washington state – Anna’s, Rufous, Calliope, and Black-chinned – only the Anna’s stays year-round, the others migrate south or east for the winter. “Historically limited to western California, in recent years Anna’s Hummingbirds have dramatically expanded their range northward as far as British Columbia. This expansion has been attributed to hummingbird feeders and gardens with exotic flowers that provide the birds with a year-round food source. Climate change may also play a role. They are currently very common across much of their range, and because they adapt well to suburban areas, should continue to thrive in the future.”

Since the Anna’s are happy to stay in the winter, I’m happy to continue feeding them. I’ll keep a watch and rotate the feeders as they freeze up. If I forget, they’ll let me know. 🙂

~ Susanne

28 Comments on “About those Hummingbirds in the Snow

  1. They are so darling! We have hummers here year-round in Las Vegas, I can hear the distinctive chirp easily among the other birds. Thank you for caring for these sweet creatures, Susanne! ❤️

  2. I can’t believe how cold its gotten in the PNW this week! I’m impressed the little hummers are so resilient! I’m moving to Kitsap County in 2 weeks. Hopefully the icy roads will be cleared up by then, though I understand I missed a beautiful Christmas.

  3. Y’all got all our snow on the West side!! Snowed here for about 5 minutes this morning. My two Anna’s have been giving my heated feeder a fit this morning!

      • We have the low temps anyway. Yep, I got my heated feeder from Hummingbird Heated Delight online. Very satisfied with it and so are my hummers!

    • Oh, thank you so much! I love having them in my yard and am happy to feed them, especially in the winter when food might be scarce. And thanks for the reblog. 🙂

  4. I am going to look into those heated feeders. We have 3 hummers daily at the one we display. We change the food often and keep them very clean. We always have one to hang when we take down the one to be cleaned. We probably would have more birds feeding but we have noticed that one hummer likes to chase off other birds!

  5. I’m glad they have learned to let you know when the feeders are frozen. By feeding wild birds, we make them dependent on us. That comes with a responsibillity to keep it up. I am sure you will care for them, Susanne.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Yes, they are smart little birds, and even recognize human faces. I was truly touched when one visited me at the window. I was up early today with fresh nectar and water, and will keep on it as long as necessary. 😊

  6. In Sudden Valley it’s in the teens 🥶, and I’m up at 7:30, without fail, to put out a warm feeder. Occasionally a hummer will be waiting and speak to me, somtimes hovering close. Usually see the first ones feeding before 8am.
    Three hummers have been competing for the feeder, so I bought another feeder today, at the Coop in Bellingham. Now I have three feeders so one of them is always inside rewarming, for rotation every 30-60 minutes.
    The first morning of our arctic blast I put a feeder out at 7:45, and by 11:30 it had frozen solid, so I quickly washed and filled another.
    I rotate feeders all day from 7:30 to 4:45. I’ve seen them feeding as late as 4:25.
    I feed the hummers every day until warmer weather in mid to late May. Then I stop feeding until chilly fall weather returns.

    • Thanks for your comment. 😊Isn’t it wonderful how they let us know what they need? My routine is much like yours, except your temps are even colder than ours! I also hang 2 feeders and have a spare for rotation. I put them out early morning and bring them in around the dinner hour. I feed year-round but am more on top of it during the winter.

  7. We pretty much have them year round here, but there are fewer in the winter. I’ve been noticing one or two at my feeders, and they come a couple of times a day. They are so cute to watch!😀

  8. I had no idea hummingbirds were up here in Washington—and this time of year, too. I may need to get a feeder or two myself. (I have a regular bird feeder, but…)

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