How To Keep Hummingbird Feeders From Freezing
Autumn is now in full force in my area. Two nights ago we had our first frost and last night it was even colder. I awakened this morning to see the roofs next door covered with fine white crystals. When the frost begins, we naturally start thinking about How To Keep Hummingbird Feeders From Freezing.
We have Anna’s hummingbirds that stay here year round so we are always looking for ways to keep their nectar unfrozen.
As much as I would love to have a hummingbird feeders that would not freeze, the best I can seem to do to is to devise methods that keep it from happening.
Some of the ways I know how to keep hummingbird feeders from freezing include:
. Keep hummingbird feeders in a protected locations that are warmer.
. Use a hummingbird feeder that attaches to your window.
. Use a light near your hummingbird feeder that will warm the air.
. Use a heating wire that will warm the nectar in your feeder. I am not real fond of this message as I worry about the risk of the wire shorting out.
. Use bubble wrap around the feeder if you do this make sure that you keep a pathway clear for the hummingbirds to reach the nectar.
. Last but to least, have enough feeders so that you can swap out fresh feeders for frozen ones in the morning or whenever else the nectar freezes up.
This is the method I use and it does work, but it sure is a drag going out on a slippery deck at 7 am to swap out the feeders. But at least this keeps our hummers in nectar on the cold winter days. Fortunately, our temperatures don’t get much below freezing even at night, so we don’t have todo this all of the time.
What I find really amazing is that the Anna’s hummingbirds stay here all winter at all and how do hummingbirds tolerate cold being so small. The answer is, that they go into torpor, which is a kind of hibernation at night when they are inactive. They lower their body temperatures to conserve energy an appear barely alive. Strange, but this lets them tolerate colder nighttime temperatures.
This is an interesting video with at least one more method for keeping the hummingbird feeder from freezing – use wool covers. I don’t know if this works, but she seemed to think so.
One thing that delighted me this morning is the fact that we finally had some flickers on the fence, who were thinking about going to my bird feeder. Unfortunately, they saw my cat at the window and got scared off.
This is the first time I have seen flickers anywhere near My Garden since spring. I have heard them, but I believe they have had enough food so that they didn’t need to rely on feeders. I love seeing them come. They are the largest woodpecker in our immediate vicinity, although I think that there are pileated woodpeckers in the woods, which are even bigger.
Now with autumn here, I look forward to seeing even more woodpeckers and other winter birds in addition to keeping my hummingbirds in unfrozen nectar.
4 Replies to “How To Keep Hummingbird Feeders From Freezing”
Our hummingbirds have gone south for the winter. A good thing with the early snows of this past week.
Wow, I see all of you in the east getting snow. We are seeing our snow levels get down to 2500 feet and are getting frost.
I thought I saw a Rufous hummer yesterday, but it was our year round Anna all puffed up. The Rufous are all gone now.
We came up with an alternative that you might be interested in… a weather resistant jacket heated with a beanie bag insert. We have one up for auction right now on ebay (item #160690528440 – Hummingbird warming feeder heater). Feels like we’re going to need it soon here in Victoria!
A very cute idea. After I made this post, I heard of using this method of using warming packs like those in a sporting store to keep the feeders from freezing. Your little penguin perks up the method and makes a cute warmer.
BTW, I Love Victoria and hope to take the Clipper up there again soon.
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