How to Heal the Hummingbirds in Winter

December 19, 2016

With the first big cold snap of the winter season, we'd like everybody to be aware of how dangerous the cold can be for our only permanent hummingbird species, the Anna's Hummingbird. They're certainly the hardiest of them all, able to withstand freezing temperatures. But 25° F and below makes it hard for such a little bird to keep warm. If you walk outside in the evening to find hummers on the ground or on your feeders with their feathers puffed up and eyes closed, they're probably at risk of freezing if they spend the night there. Gently pick them up and place them in a cardboard box with a couple of holes poked into the top. Don't worry about towels, supplemental heat, or light sources. Just keep them in that dark cardboard box inside a garage or other secured area. Don't let anyone open the box or they may not go to sleep, which conserves vital energy. In the morning, place the box outside and open it up. It will take about 15-20 minutes for them to come out of torpor, so leave them be and watch them fly away! If you find a hummingbird sleeping in the morning, give us a call and we will let you know if it's something that should be brought in. The cold can take a lot out of them, and we have many hummingbird-specific facilities and treatments to help them get back into the wild.



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Puget Sound Wildcare

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