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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Hummer in torpor ? (1 Viewer)


New member
I'm new to the forum, and a newbie to running hummer feeders in -13 Centigrade (11 Fahrenheit) weather. But that's what we have here in Vancouver BC . . .

I set up a warmer (first time for me) under the feeder -- just a 15 watt light bulb in a plastic flowerpot, attached by wires to the feeder.

All was good during daylight, when one hummer seemed to be roosting on the perch. I unplugged it at 10 PM, brought it into the kitchen overnight --

. . . and saw that the hummer was still sitting on the perch, apparently dead.

After research, in a few minutes, my wife found that with luck, the bird was in torpor, not dead. I brought the feeder outside again, and plugged it in as it had been.

We hope that, with luck, the bird will revive tomorrow.

(a) . . . What are the chances of that ?

(b) . . . What could we have done better (besides checking the feeder for resident birds before moving it) ?

(c) . . . . Even with the heater, there's some ice crystals at the top of the feeder. Is the sugar concentration out-of-whack, and
. . . . . . . should we refill the feeder, or bring it inside and warm it up (without a hummer, tomorrow morning) ?
. . . . . . Or can we just let it be?

Thanks --

. Charles / Richmond (Vancouver), BC
Hi, first off welcome to the forum! I don’t have a lot of experience with hummingbirds in the winter. I do know that torpor does occur when it is quite cold and has been mistaken for death. Taking the feeder back outside as soon as you noticed was probably the best thing you could have done. If the little fellow is good to go today, then I would keep doing what you have been doing. If you normally use a 1 to 4 solution you might try making it 1 to 3 for these cold winter days.
good luck, and please let us know how you got on.

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