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Hummingbirds in Snow

People say Hummingbirds are too fragile to withstand extreme weather.  Ha!  Hummingbirds are strong, resilient and fierce.

On December 29th, 2010, I video taped this Anna’s Hummingbird sipping nectar from a feeder on our back deck.  Three hummingbirds that we know of wintered here on San Juan Island in Puget Sound.  During the snowstorm they were out flitting around and playing chase. They all come in to feed, but only one at a time. They are very territorial and they fight over the nectar even though there is more than plenty to go around.


  1. I wish I knew the names of all the birds that fly into my patio. Most of our birds never see the light of day in your area. BTW, Hauoli Makahiki Hou, Q!

    1. Gigi — here is a UH website that will help identify your bird visitors. If you scroll down a bit you will find photos, which to me are much more helpful than scientific description. (Don’t tell Amoeba that I said that!)

  2. I love watching the birds coming down to the feeders in our garden. We don’t have hummingbirds here (unfortunately) but we do get tits and robins. 🙂

    1. Akelamalu — I understand what is “Robin” in England is different than what is “Robin” in American. We should try to exchange pics!

    1. Mama Zen — I was surprised to learn they are winter hardy, too, but apparently it is not uncommon for Hummingbirds to remain in snow country.

  3. Nice of you to provide a safe, dry food stop out of the weather for them! I thought I had to wait to hang my hummingbird feeder until spring, but I guess not!

    1. Barbara — you can hang it now! One cup water to 1/4 c. sugar. Don’t fill it too full unttil you know how many (or if any) Hummingbirds you have. And watch the temperature because if it freezes you’ll need to bring the feeder in and thaw it out. (I keep two and exchange them).

  4. This is so wonderful! Hummingbirds (as most living things) are much stronger than we give them credit for, no?

  5. Awesome. I didn’t realize humming birds wintered. I don’t think they stay here but maybe they do. I kind of thought your little guy looked like he was shivering, but that was probably my imagination.

    1. Raven — considering the quality of the video, I am pretty sure any shivering was technical. These little creatures zip around at amazing speeds and burn off tremendous energy (they live on sugar, after all!). And when night falls and they rest, they have the ability to put their bodies in almost comatose states, drastically slowing their heartbeat.

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