Posted by: atowhee | June 22, 2020

IT’S ABOUT TORPOR, BUT IT WON’T PUT YOU TO SLEEP

A fine video about a sleeping hummer and his rise from torpor to feed…and feed.

The above video came from Tennessee so it is the Ruby-throated which is a migratory species in the eastern U.S. though it extends westward to the base of the Canadian Rockies in Alberta.

On the internet it explains: “Hummingbird Sleep. When hummingbirds sleep, they go into a hibernation-like state called Torpor (pronounces TOR-per). This is a really deep sleep. Their metabolism will lower to one-fifteenth (1/15) of normal. Their body temperature will drop to the point of becoming hypothermic.”

In my experience you almost never see an active hummer when the air temp is below 37 degrees F.  The over-wintering Anna’s can use it survive snow and cold nights this far north.   That species is generally the northernmost wintering hummer, mostly males as females go south to have an easier winter and build up body mass…if mass can be sued to refer to anything our small hummers possess.

Click here for Natl Geo blog on hummers and their energy use which is beneath the torporizing.

Our northern-most nesting hummers are the Anna’s and Rufous who both extend their range into coastal, southern Alaska.


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