Birding in British Columbia

A starting place for birding information for British Columbia, Canada. This web site features a birders discussion forum, links to birding newsgroups, articles and book reviews, checklists, regional hotspots, photo gallery, weather reports, and visiting birder information.
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 Post subject: Re: Hummingbird living here and it is getting cold.
PostPosted: Dec 10 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Jul 12 11:14 am
Posts: 18
Hi again:

I'm glad to know you have the priviledge of feeding this hummingbird. Also hearing about your bats, squirrels, house finches, and so forth creates a neat picture for me. You've probably been feeding birds for many years. Thank you for the good work you're doing, and I hope you always find unlimited pleasure in it. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Damion


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 Post subject: Re: Hummingbird living here and it is getting cold.
PostPosted: Apr 17 7:52 am 
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Joined: Nov 18 1:39 pm
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The hummingbirds have returned to Kelowna now. Our Anna's survived in to the second week of January and we were very saddened to lose her. It was difficult changing out the sugar water two and three times per day; once the temperature hit -10 the solution would cloud over within two hours. Several people from bird watching groups came over to see her feed in the snowy landscape, but this year we will be more cautious and remove the all the feeders by the end of September to discourage any future Anna's from taking the risk of staying in Kelowna over winter. It was two days of -17 and blowing snowing that finished her we believe, along with the harassment she received from the flickers who chased her through the yard when she tried to feed.
We did go through earlier photos we had taken of the various humminbirds over the years and we found that Anna's do come here regularly along with the Rufous, Black Chinned, and Calliope, but we feel a little ashamed that we made fun of the Anna's thinking they were merely an overweight Calliope. My very good friend has a number of websites devoted to light humour, one of them is based on fantastic creatures rarely seen in nature. He was amused by our description of the incredibly large hummingbird that frequented our feeders back in the spring of 2011, and after some careful research he identified it as a "Hummster" and immortalized our ignorance on his site: http://www.bunguin.com/?p=92.
Have a great season, keep your feeders clean, and be sure to discourage hummingbirds from staying in Zone 5 over the winter, it just gets too cold!


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 Post subject: Re: Hummingbird living here and it is getting cold.
PostPosted: Dec 10 9:27 am 
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Joined: Dec 09 6:09 pm
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Hello - Are you still feeding your Anna's? I am feeding a male one in Penticton and he is doing well so far! I have two feeders both with heat tape so the food freezing is not an issue. They are 6 foot pieces. I also put a fresh cut xmas tree where I found his daytime roost and filled it with regular outdoor xmas lights that give off a wee bit of heat. One of the feeders is near there. I believe he roosts near there there at night and I am trying to figure that out so I can add another light and a bit of warmth. I am concerned about the coming cold snap!


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 Post subject: Re: Hummingbird living here and it is getting cold.
PostPosted: Dec 10 11:10 am 
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Joined: Feb 11 5:30 pm
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Nice to hear you have an overwintering Anna's in Penticton. Sounds like you are doing the best you can for the little guy.

Take care and I wish you and him the best.
Mel

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BC Rare Bird Alert: http://bcbirdalert.blogspot.ca


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 Post subject: Re: Hummingbird living here and it is getting cold.
PostPosted: Dec 10 1:21 pm 
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Joined: May 29 7:10 am
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Hi everyone...the winter Anna's sure do brighten up our cold and dreary days!

I'm not sure if this has been mentioned before, but my understanding is that we don't want to introduce any light to the area that a hummingbird is roosting, as this will prevent it from fully reducing it's nightime metabolism. One friend found "his" bird dead one morning after leaving the nearby porch light on overnight...and eventually concluded the little guy failed to enter the needed torpor to survive the night.

Is this the accepted wisdom...? Of course, figuring out those nightime roost locations is another challenge :?

Glen (now in Langley)

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 Post subject: Re: Hummingbird living here and it is getting cold.
PostPosted: Dec 10 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Dec 09 6:09 pm
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Hi Glent

Yes, I wondered about that - I think I have just found it. A small opening (lean to) where a fence is on it's side and it's well covered with snow and debris. It is very protected from the elements. It is about 15 feet from where I have the lit up Xmas tree and one of the feeders. It is ground level so I don't want to bring any attention to it either. There is quite a bit of snow on ground now so that is a good thing as I don't think a cat would go looking there. He does rest in the day on the rope that holds the Xmas tree and near one of the big white lights. He will feed until just after dark. I think I am going to have to leave him be and hope he can make the cold snap coming. He is quite interactive with me. What do you think of trying to feed him house flies? Do you think he is finding some dead bugs out there? I have lots of shrubs etc on my property. Thank for any advice you might have. I wonder what the lowest temperature they can survive?


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 Post subject: Re: Hummingbird living here and it is getting cold.
PostPosted: Dec 11 8:58 am 
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Joined: Dec 09 6:09 pm
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Hi again

From what I have read, hummingbirds can torpor at any time of the day so I don't believe that light is a factor. They die in torpor if their fluids congeal so temperature is important. My big concern is if he can find insects to eat out there (apparently dead is ok) to give him some protein etc. I wish I knew how I could get protein and nutrients added to his water. I read of a torpor experiment where the scientist fed them a solution, but now I can't find the article. Sigh, the dangers of too much google....


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 Post subject: Re: Hummingbird living here and it is getting cold.
PostPosted: Dec 13 5:53 pm 
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Joined: May 29 7:10 am
Posts: 36
interesting that light is not a trigger for the torpor state...makes sense if these guys can spend part of their days as well as nights like that, when needed...

Personally I focus only on making sure the hummers have calories (sugar) this time of year...that's super concientious of you to also want to give them a balanced diet!

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Glen in Surrey


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