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Old Tuesday 31st January 2012, 14:21   #1
Dana Dana
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Winter Hummingbirds Vancouver Island BC

When I saw some Annas last winter I started using syrup to feed them. They usually come around for the Jasmine Nudiflorum which blooms all winter under an overhanging roof out of rain and snow.
When my son asked me what they do when it gets cold, I said they snug in and just turn into pinecones. Not far from the truth as they do go torpid and do nothing when it gets too cold tho cold and snow did not stop this little male from coming every day.
I have also heard them singing in the wild. Annas males are the only hummingbird with a true song rather than their usual chips tho not much of a song. It sounds like a rasping rather than singing. The only morning bird chorus I had in August last year, from one little juvenile male who grew up in my yard and stayed the winter, as did one the previous year.

I also put up a webcam -hummycam, to see them at the feeder and this lets me see who is who, as well. These pics are from a Panasonic video cam thru the patio glass.
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Last edited by Dana Dana : Tuesday 31st January 2012 at 14:40.
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Old Tuesday 31st January 2012, 14:37   #2
Dana Dana
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A few more pics.
The dated ones are from the Logitech webcam -$40. Cheap at the price, also captures sound.

Yesterday I saw an Annas female gathering some fluff from an old pampas grass frond, a sign that nest building has started and that Spring has sprung here....at least it has for me!
Soon enough, 2 more months and the Rufous will arrive. Getting plants ready in the garage already, potting up those that show signs of growth.
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Last edited by Dana Dana : Tuesday 31st January 2012 at 14:39.
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Old Monday 13th February 2012, 23:42   #3
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nice
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Old Thursday 16th February 2012, 02:05   #4
Dana Dana
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Fun.
A cheerful note to the dreary winter days. Literally so with the males, who are also singing in the wilder areas here near the ocean where it is warmer as well as in my garden.
They have started bathing again. I hadn't seen one bathe since some time in November and I happened to catch a female in the tub Feb 4th.

All the birds bathe lots during the colder months. If I had no feeders up they would still come for the water. I think the same for hummingbirds.
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Old Saturday 25th February 2012, 04:05   #5
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I'm going to create a bath for my visitors - I had an idea of re-purposing a stainless steel pet water fountain, with a few rocks, and an upside down, red frisbee tier... not so nice as your lovely garden fountain... but three stories up on my deck, I'm the only watcher.

I had some snow and ice photos of my hummers, but no good camera, and no good cameraman, this year. That's why i admired yours so much.

thanx
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Old Saturday 25th February 2012, 13:44   #6
Dana Dana
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Cool! Dan,
Only a someone who has seen many blurry hummy shots could appreciate yours, and I do, I do!
Is he really sitting on an icicled branch? Ouch. That's really cold.

Out of curiosity, are you nearer the water? I haven't heard anyone who is not, report seeing any hb's.

Frisbee??? They won't slip off? Can you get to a beach and find a smoothish rock that is still rough enough for them to get a grip with their feet? Or does the frisbee have those raised rings for grip? I use poly to hold water but also rocks for traction.

Over the last few years I have noted that they will cling to a rock that the water is spilling over. My stuff is nothing fancy, mostly second had bits except for a good pump and lots of fooling around to get a good effect for the New Camera, ha ha. Upgraded last year which helped me a little with the fuzzy shots.
Nothing like stealth for a good shot tho.

Everyone says they like a spray and indeed they do so if you could arrange something like that they will love it. Have fun fooling around with it and see what they do. Endless enjoyment for me.

Yes, no one else can see it but I bet other birds will also find your fountain. They need to bathe when it is cold out in order to spread the oil on their feathers to keep warm in this cool winter. I think the birds come here for the water as much as the feed.
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Old Saturday 25th February 2012, 17:44   #7
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I wanted to get a photo of them in the ice and snow, because I admire them, with their little 100 degree furnaces and tough athleticism. Instead, I saw how they suffered in that ice storm really. He looked so miserable, with his droopy wings.

There is a pet fountain that has up to six spouts, 360 degrees, and is stainless steel. It doesn't have to be a "frisbee" per se, but imagine one, with a perfect hole in the middle, sitting upside down on this fountain. Then poke some holes in it, put some rocks in it and on the bottom. The stainless steel would reflect the RED of the "frisbee," which would create a two tiered fountain, with waterfall, all around the base. I would need something for traction along the bottom edge I think, but then, there will be rocks.

So, that's my crazy little idea.... so you can get a visual of it, this is the fountain.
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Old Saturday 25th February 2012, 17:48   #8
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PS I guess: Yes, I live right on a river, but I'm a good five miles from the Sound, and 100 from the Pacific.
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Old Tuesday 28th February 2012, 01:49   #9
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I expect that the river and being close to the sound has a moderating effect on your weather. Friends who live at only a slightly higher elevation, less than a mile away than I do, do not report seeing any during winter.

I saw a news bit where they are moving inland near Vancouver and the pattern is around the inland waters that come in from the ocean as well.
In Port Alberni, an inlet town, they get a lot of hummingbird action, especially in summer. I bet you do too. Your set-up, in another thread, sounds ideal.

The pet fountain looks like a great idea to try. Do post some photos when you have arranged something that works.
Watch that it doesn't freeze if it has an electric pump. Are the pumps in those fountains easily replaceable?
I find that a large water holder doesn't freeze until about -5 C and then I pull the pump and let it hang there to drain. When it is too cold for the fountain I put out pans of water for the birds as they are used to finding it in my yard tho I have never seen a hummy use the pan. I think it's just too cold for the tiny bodies then.
Fortunately that doesn't happen around here too often.
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Old Tuesday 28th February 2012, 02:02   #10
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I don't know how replaceable they are... but I do know that you can get these things used, pretty cheap on craigslist once in a while. The other things that are pretty cheap second hand, are those indoor meditation fountains. My deck is completely covered, and our weather here, with the exception of a few weeks per year, is very mild.

I wouldn't have thought they need to bathe so much in the Winter, but your analysis makes perfect sense.

I know, they seem like little hedonists, when they bathe. I absolutely have to make a bath for them. Perhaps i should look into something more photogenic, eh?

keep smiling... thanks for the input

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Old Monday 5th March 2012, 23:22   #11
Dana Dana
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Perhaps i should look into something more photogenic, eh?""

As long as the hb's use it, who cares!

In some parts of the world, stainless table ware is considered posh. I wouldn't have known that the fountain was for any particular use if you hadn't mentioned it. So, do re-purpose it and see if they come to it.

All that birds need to attract them to water is the sound of it, apparently.

I'd laugh if all your neighbours also started to put out fountains, following your example again.

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Old Monday 19th March 2012, 14:48   #12
Dana Dana
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It is still a cool beginning of Spring here with below zero temps sometimes overnight as it was last night. Practically at first light, at 7:30 am, the resident male Annas was bathing! Roofs are still frosty but that does not deter the little one from bathing after his first sips at the feeder.

Amazing that he is not tucked in somewhere sleeping til the sun comes out. I know I would.

Oh oh. I see a few white flakes floating down. At least we are spared much of that on the coast!
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Old Monday 19th March 2012, 18:47   #13
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