January 25, 2010


It was 23 degrees this morning, and before sun up a hummingbird came to the feeder. I leave one feeder up all year, just for this kind of occasion. Lore here has it that you should take down your feeder after the migration to discourage any stragglers from wanting to hang around. I have since learned that Ma Nature (aka the migration instinct) is a lot stronger than some sugar water, and that a feeder may help some bird in need. I was surprised that this little guy did not seem too stressed: he drank, but did take his time to take in his surroundings too.

I remember one sighting in the Oregon while I was taking a walk in sleet (if you don't get out because of wet weather, you'll never get out), and seeing a hummer perched in the top of a pine. Poor, miserable, little bird. I had not realized that if a bird does not migrate, it is trapped because it cannot abandon its known feeding source: there is no longer a support system on the way down.

Today this little story from Liberty Wildlife arrived about a lucky hummingbird who did an "auto-migration". How apropos. http://www.libertywildlife.org/jan10_hummingbirds.asp

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