Posted by: atowhee | January 15, 2020


There was light snow here in McMinnville this morning.  The dog and I went for a late walk hoping for better times, and around 1030AM when we were out there just a few spits of tiny flakes.  But it was still only 32 degrees.  I was surprised to see an Anna’s Hummingbird sitting up in a bush at a neighbor’s home.  Fifteen feet away was his nectar feeder, apparently some liquid inside and presumably not frozen.  No torpor for this guy–alert to protect his food source.

I was heavily clothed.  The dog wore two layers.  We were cold and we each have a body temp well below that of a living hummingbird.  My temp was the ordinary 98.6 of our species.  A dog is usually from 100 to 102 degrees.  Mr. Hummer is running at around 107 or more!  So he was 75 degrees hotter than the air he was inhaling.  Imagine the energy he needs just to maintain that body temp.
Moral: if you’re gonna feed hummers in winter.  Do it, don’t be lackadaisical.

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