[Tweeters] Feeding hummers in winter

Louise Rutter louise.rutter at eelpi.gotdns.org
Tue Dec 28 20:41:40 PST 2021

I’ve been following this discussion with interest, because we’ve lived in this house for 15 years now. Every winter during a cold snap, I bring in the feeders overnight and put them out at dawn (around 7.30) with little hotties strapped to them. When it’s been really cold, there might be a hummer buzzing me right as I put them out, sometimes feeding even as I’m still hanging them up.

So after reading the post saying they come out of torpor as early as 6am, this morning I got up extra early and put the feeders out while it was still well dark at 6.30am. I turned on the external house lights and waited, and nothing happened. There was no sign of a hummer until it was actually reasonably light at 7.30.

I wonder if my hummers have become trained to go somewhere else for an early feed and only come looking for mine when they know they’ll be there? Or maybe they just stay in bed longer when they know the food won’t be out yet?

Louise Rutter


From: Tweeters <tweeters-bounces at mailman11.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Jennifer Jarstad
Sent: 28 December 2021 18:33
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Tweeters] Feeding hummers in winter

Just wanted to add to the discussion on hummingbird food because I saw an Anna's hummingbird in flight this morning 40 minutes before sunrise (caught on a motion detector camera in the pitch dark), so if you are bringing feeders in at night during the deep freeze, please consider putting them back out well before sunrise. Thanks.

Jenn Jarstad

Seattle, WA

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