The winter was cold, wet and windy and a few of the Anna Hummingbirds attempted to stay in location rather than fly the long journey south, so we kept the syrupy sugar solution hanging outdoors during entire season. Now a few months into spring, it still feels like winter with the rain, cold nights and days; along with the overcast and few days of sunshine, the bright spring flowers are slow to bloom. This weather pattern is not good for the local and returning birds to successfully obtain nutrients for their high metabolism; so, we are preparing the required calories needed for their diet every two days: one to four ratio of sugar and water.

A few days ago, I was unable to supply the syrup mixture for twenty four hours and I think it was the cause for a near death to one Hummingbird. The next day several hours after replenishing the feeder, I observed a Hummingbird sitting on the circular ledge on the feeder. It was immobile except for when slowly dipped its beak into the port opening to obtain some nutrients. The bird’s feathers were fluffed out, enlarging the size and its entire body was constantly shaking. The other hungry birds were curious of the bird’s non reaction to their appearance when they approached the feeder. I walked within a foot of the bird and it still did not move, only slightly turning its head to watch me. Then, a few minutes later it took a few more sips of the sugary water, the shaking stopped and the bird swiftly flew away into the tall cedar trees.

If the Hummingbird was suffering from hypothermia due to my careless behavior, I hope that it recovered from the shock to its tiny body; and, hopefully the weather will return to its normal temperatures and warmer spring weather. Even the wild pollinating and honey bees have not been seen around my flowers or veggie garden. Just bugs!

4 thoughts on “A cold spring for the Hummingbirds

  1. Thank you. At times there will be at least eight birds on the feeder so now I have to refill the quart/half jar of syrup just about every day. I observed one H.bird darting after bugs in mid air….that is good for their protein intake.

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  2. Feathered jewels they are…excellent description…plus they are important carriers of pollen from one plant to the next….To do this the PNW needs warmer days and sunshine. These little jewels are increasing their demand for syrup intake
    due to lack of plants blooming

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  3. ….it’s not that you were/are careless–hardly!–rather that like the rest of us, you’re only human. It is inspiring to see how diligently you both observe and then help rectify situations this climate change world we’re in is causing these little feathered jewels.

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  4. Thank you, Lois. Our creatures are suffering similarly in this weather. We have not yet seen a hummingbird, even though the feeder is full. Wish you and your creatures well.

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