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Picture of our winter hummer

November 25 2011 at 9:41 PM
Sherry  (Login birds7212)
Hummingbird lover 2011


Cansomeone identify our hummingbird. We thought it was a blackchin at first but it has fushia/magenta color which we were finially able to see as it warmed up alittle(its been 48* to 16* here in Spokane so far) and he was catching bugs in the sunlight. So far we only see a Ruby throat and a Annas that have that color but neither are supposed to be in this area. So far he seems to be doing fine and arrives to the feeder at 6:15-6:45 every morning,maybe one day he will fly south as most of you say if he does not he may have defective genes and should not breed...just cannot bring ourselves to turn our backs on him and not feed.

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Nancy Newfield
(Login NLN)
Bird Lover

Re: Picture of our winter hummer

November 25 2011, 9:51 PM 


Your bird appears to be an adult female Anna's Hummingbird. That species is supposedly pretty cold-tolerant. However, I really don't know just how cold-tolerant they are under the most favorable conditions. Good luck with her.

Nancy L Newfield
Casa Colibrí
Metairie, Louisiana USA
USDA Zone 9
[linked image]


(Premier Login bob2aa)

Hi Sherry

November 25 2011, 10:38 PM 

[linked image]

Not sure why your picture didn't show,so I posted it again.

Anna's hummingbirds (and others) have a cold-weather survival mechanism called "torpor."

"Anna's Hummingbirds normally have a body temperature of around 107 degrees Fahrenheitthat's a scorching temperature for a human. When outside temperatures fall, Anna's and many other species of hummingbirds enter torpor. Their breathing and heart rate slow, and their body temperature can fall as low as 48 degrees Fahrenheit When the temperature warms, the hummingbirds can become active again in a few minutes."


"Anna's hummingbirds are the only hummingbirds to spend the winter in northern climates; they are able to do this as there are enough winter flowers and food to support them. During cold temperatures, Anna's Hummingbirds gradually gain weight during the day as they convert sugar to fat.[11] In addition, hummingbirds with inadequate stores of body fat or insufficient plumage are able to survive periods of sub-freezing weather by lowering their metabolic rate and entering a state of torpor."


As far as I know there are no specific guidelines for over-Wintering a Anna's Hummingbird. I can tell you from experience that it is very satisfying to over-Winter a hummingbird in sub-freezing weather conditions;it's also a lot of work. Here is a picture of the feeder setup.The light was attached to a Sheppard's hook and the feeder was attached to the window. The whole thing was covered with plastic. The coldest temperature during that Winter was minus 4 Fahrenheit.


Besides that feeding setup,we changed the nectar solution to a 3 to 1, sugar to water, ratio. During the morning hours we would feed her a commercial mixture designed for hummingbirds in captivity,then we would switch to the 3 to 1 sugar water nectar mixture in the afternoon.



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