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
- 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.
- 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.
- Bring feeders in at night so they don’t freeze. Return them as early as possible.
- 🕷 🕸🪰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.
- 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.
- BirdWatching Anna’s Hummingbird: Our Winter Hummingbird
- Seattle Audubon: Snow Dance: Anna’s Hummingbird in Winter
- Seattle Audubon: Hummer Hearth Feeder Heater