The video below was shot from my kitchen window in mid January 2012. You can clearly see the snow on the ground in the background and no flowers. There are very limited food sources for the birds this time of year. I had never hung a feeder out before this video. It is quite literally the first time the bird has ever seen it.
I made this hummingbird food recipe and put it out around 3pm. It took about 30 minutes for the first bird to come around and within an hour I had three distinctly different birds repeatedly coming in for food.
This birds’ actions clearly illustrate the importance of having food out for the hummingbirds in winter. The first time this little guy found the feeder he stayed and drank for about 45 seconds without leaving.
He went back and forth many times and in the sunbeam of the evening you could even see his teeny little tongue flitting in and out after sipping up the sweet liquid.
There were even drips down his beak and it was pretty clear he was very thankful to find food.
The variety that you are likely to see here on the west coast of BC are the Anna’s hummingbird. They are distinctively glossy greenish black, they almost glow in the sunlight. They are the only one’s that can survive the west coast winter. The rest migrate to warmer areas.
They make it through by eating the few bugs or spiders they happen to find or the occasional flower helps them along too.
There are two other bird feeders above, one with seed and one with suet. If you watch closely you can see the hummingbird looking up and keeping a sharp eye on the larger birds above, but holds his ground and is not scared away.
I brought in the feeder so it wouldn’t freeze over night. He was back early in the morning looking for more, before 6 am. I hadn’t put it out yet and he was hovering looking in the window at me. My apologies sir, I’ll be more prompt next time!