Last year, just after the cold snap in February, the Anna’s in my neighbourhood seemed to disappear. I saw many mentions online from other people in other areas had noticed the same thing. This year, it’s happened again. I haven’t seen a hummer in three days now after seeing them every few minutes during the cold snap and before that. I have a few theories: -Significant mortality from the cold (seems unlikely since the absence started at the end of the cold weather and not during the worst part, both years. Also, numbers seemed to bounce back to normal in the spring) -Once conditions improved enough for travel, birds headed for the coast to seek out more stable temperatures. -Some new food source became available, causing birds to ignore feeders
If anyone can confirm any of these or has other insights, please let me know.
Here, we're down to one or two from four or five before the cold. Despite the lamps and swapping feeders I think they may have succumbed to the cold all the same. I am hearing similar stories all over the region where people are saying they've lost their hummingbirds.
That said, I have also noticed a pattern where our hummingbirds do leave our yard but this is usually early spring. Sadly I don't think this is the case.
The thought they moved to warmer climes is possible and we can hope for that. I'm not optimistic though. They do eat lots of little insects and when it warmed the little bugs did come out. I'm sure the birds will welcome the protein after a week solid of nectar.
Be interesting to see how things look over the coming months in terms of how many Anna's we see around and compare it to last year.
Gord Fraser Valley Birding Administrator eBird Regional Editor (Fraser Valley)
Post by nickinthegarden on Jan 23, 2020 3:28:50 GMT -8
I did the best I could for my hummers during the cold and snow and they seemed to have survived. I frequently walk through my neighborhood and I would hear the chatter of hummers in several locations. The first couple days after the temperature rose I did not hear any other than mine. Yesterday I heard from two of them but I have not located all of them yet. Not everyone who has a feeder is good about filling, cleaning and keeping it unfrozen and I suspect that those feeders might have been staked out by the unsuccessful birds. Sad.
Post by birderbert on Jan 23, 2020 11:18:06 GMT -8
I had 4 heated feeders working through the cold spell which I'm certain helped my Annas's survive! They are very hardy little birds and can theoretically handle the -10°C temperatures we endured. Don't forget it's breeding season for Anna's which may explain why you see fewer of them around the feeders
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