- Dec 10 9:22 pm
I re-read my post and realized that I didn’t explain why you need to put the feeder out before sunrise. It’s because hummers go into a state called torpor at night where they lower their metabolic rate by as much as 95% which causes a dramatic lowering of body temperature, heart and breathing rate. They actually appear to be dead! This enables their overnight survival in cold weather when they are unable to feed. They slowly awaken before dawn with only enough energy to get them to their first feeding and that’s why, if they are used to going to your feeder, you must have it ready and waiting for them.
I hope I don’t sound like I’m lecturing. I love the hummers that come to my feeder (mostly Anna’s but also the occasional Rufous in summer, which the resident Anna’s quickly chase away) so I’ve done some research on them. Fascinating birds.