This juvenile Anna’s Hummingbird survived the recent cold Christmas week, with the help of a heated feeder. The number of these tiny birds has been increasing in Squamish for the past few winters. Last year’s Christmas Bird Count included 32 and this years counters found 57! The count took place before the start of the unusually cold weather, and it seems likely that some birds perished because they couldn’t find enough food, despite their ability to reduce energy needs overnight.
If you keep a hummingbird feeder outside in winter, please try to keep the fluid warm. This year BC wildlife rescue sites have reported birds with tongues and even feet frozen to feeders. Some people switch out a warm feeder for a cold one through the day and others come up with creative ways to apply heat. CBC News described several approaches, including the application of heat tape at a feeder here in Squamish, in this December 30 report.