Five Tips to Help Hungry Hummingbirds Survive Winter

Male Anna's Hummingbird

Yesterday morning I brought out the hummingbird feeder and there was a little female Anna’s Hummingbird hovering near the ant-moat. She flew right up to me and hovered a few feet from my face.

“Hungry?” I asked as I offered her the feeder.

She went right to work, and even perched while I held it up for her. My arm got tired, so I hung it up. The movement sent her floating into the air to settle back down a moment or two later.

Most of our hummingbird population migrates during winter, but, like this hungry little girl, a few stay behind. Here are five tips to help them make it through the dark days of winter and in return they may brighten yours a little.

How to Help

  1. Clean feeders once a week. I can’t get the little flowers clean by hand, so I have an extra set I can pop in. The dirty ones go through the dishwasher.
  2. Nectar Recipe: 4 parts water, 1 part white sugar heated to boiling.
    • My feeder holds 2 cups: 2 cups water and 1/2 cup white sugar.
    • Don’t use raw sugar, the iron content can be toxic.
    • Don’t use honey.
    • Don’t add red dye.
  3. Bring feeders in at night so they don’t freeze. Return them as early as possible.
  4. 🕷 🕸🪰Anna’s Hummingbirds also need protein. They dine on spiders and tiny flies caught in their webs. They can also catch tiny flies out of the air. If you can leave a few webs around your birds will appreciate it.
  5. If it dips below freezing during the day consider rotating one feeder outside while the other thaws indoors. Or look into a feeder heater like Hummer Hearth Feeder Heater.

Read my full article for more about Hummingbirds.


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