Feeding hummingbirds during winter freeze

Monday, December 27, 2021

Photo by Jan Hansen

Jan Hansen says "My responsibility is to keep this guy's beverage from freezing."

Christine Southwick discussed this in a previous For The Birds column:

Remember your hummer friends too: In cold weather, full hummingbird feeders don’t freeze above 28°F. Colder than 28F, bring feeders in after dark, and put out again at first light. 

Hummingbird feeder wrapped in
non-LED Christmas lights
Photo by Jean Hilde
If it stays cold during the day, tape a hand-warmer against the bottom of the feeder, or use non-LED Christmas lights. 

Anna’s hummingbirds feed well into dusk, and come back at early dawn. They need to fill up to survive winter over-night, and tank up in the morning to replenish their energy levels.

So, when the days are short, and the nights are long, the wild food has been mostly consumed, and insects are scarce. 

Heat your bird bath, give your yard birds food, and provide shelter from winter weather, and more of your birds will live to see their next Spring.

Other ideas

One local resident put his hummingbird feeder out on top of an insulated thermos full of boiling water. The thermos was still warm hours later and the nectar was still liquid.


Gloria December 27, 2021 at 9:14 PM  

Thanks for the advice — the little guys are sooo worth it!

kayakgirl66 December 28, 2021 at 7:53 AM  

actually, birds dont really need us. they manage

Unknown December 28, 2021 at 8:17 AM  

I use a mask instead of tape to hold the hand warmer to the bottom of the feeder. The earstraps go around the neck of the feeder. No tape residue, and it's easy to take the warmer off the feeder to shake and re-activate the hand warmer.

Unknown December 30, 2021 at 5:41 PM  

We turned a shoe box upside down, wrapped it in foil, poked holes for hanger and droplight and plugged it in. Warm nectar for our peanut friends! Tuo. Co. Sierra Foothills. 31 to 41 Degrees.

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