Saturday, December 19, 2020

Hummer Update

Here in mid-December Anna's Hummingbirds are still daily visitors to my feeders. Hummers feed on the nectar in blooming flowers, tiny insects, and the sugar-water humans put in feeders. This time of year, in Seattle, blooming flowers are rare. So, I think these little birds are especially dependent now on our feeders. 

Note bare tree limbs in lower left.

I am committed to keeping my feeders clean with fresh food for the hummers all winter this year. Honestly, I don't know if it is a good thing. Clearly, we humans are stretching the area nature intended for hummingbirds. However, since humans have created this "no need to migrate" situation, I will do my part to make it work for the hummers. And, it does bring joy to my day to watch them.

Between feedings the hummers can be found
relaxing in a tree about 10 meters away.

The "experts" say hummers spend about 60% of their day relaxing like the little bird in the photo above. Hummingbirds have a very high metabolism and must eat all day long just to survive. They consume daily about half their body weight in bugs and nectar.

At sunset it is tough to get more than a silhouette.
However, hummers are heavy feeders around this time
which makes it a good time to snap a photo.

I have found hummers feed the most right around sunrise and then again right before sunset. 
When they sleep, they go into a hibernation-like state called Torpor (pronounced TOR-per). This is a really deep sleep. Their metabolism will lower to one-fifteenth (1/15) of normal.

The little hummer seems to be looking in the direction of the
setting sun. Enjoying the sunset?

I wonder how hummers find a place they feel is safe for sleep, and which provides protection from wind and rain. We've had some stormy nights and I wondered if they would make it through. So far, they seem to be doing well.

In the photo below the cloud formations in the upper half of the picture are quite rare. We had a low pressure, stormy weather pass through the night before. I am wondering if this is similar to the area around the center of a hurricane, often called the "eye." Something unusual caused the clouds to be in that circular formation.

Interesting and unusual cloud formation.
December 17, 2020

NASA photo of Earth from space.
Reality = No sunrise, no sunset.
Just illuminated and not.

Sunrise and sunset exist only from our perspective here on the surface of the planet. The daily phenomena, often beautiful, is created by our view through the atmosphere, especially the clouds. I smile everytime I think about those people who still believe the earth is flat. Apparently, you can convince some humans of just about anything.

Closing Thoughtbrought to my attention by one of my favorite bloggers, Eileen, who happens to host Saturday's Critters, where I'm linking up today. 

The best things in life are the people we love, the places we've been and the memories we made along the way.

Thank you Eileen.


  1. Thanks so much John! Your Hummingbird post is wonderful, great information on these sweet birds. I am glad you are keeping the Hummingbirds fed, especially during these cold winter months. Your silhouette sunset photos are beautiful. I love your circular clouds and sky shot too. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a happy weekend! PS, thank you for leaving me a comment. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  2. I love that quote too and I'm happy to be able to visit your blog. We haven't seen hummers in a couple of months here. My favorite pics are the ones with the sunset colors in the background. Gorgeous!

  3. These pictures are stunning. I had to enlarge the cloud one to see the detail. WOW! I also love the quote at the end. It is so true that memories are so very special. For me many of those memories live on in the photos I have.

  4. What beautiful images of the hummers with the beautiful sky for a back drop. Gorgeous.

  5. I'm surprised that you have hummers there now and that they probably overwinter. They are tough hardy little birds.

  6. John, Thank you for these stunning hummer photos and for more information about these amazing little birds. I saw a hummingbird with a red breast in our back yard a few days ago. A very Merry Christmas to you and your blog readers!

  7. ...fabulous images and how neat that hummingbirds spend the winter with you. Ours are on their vacation down south!

  8. These are beautiful photos; I love hummingbirds. My guy friend has feeders and I've noticed that they are very territorial. They like to be alone at the feeder and will chase others away.

  9. Nice photos there John. Thanks for the information on Hummers.

  10. Why thank You! Isn't it amazing when they thrum right by your ear!

  11. Wow - fabulous shots of the hummer!

  12. Anna's are pretty much year around in your area and know how to survive, so feed and enjoy. Such beautiful photos and the sunset with the circular thin clouds is amazing. You already have a holiday of beauty, so wishing John's Island much joy and warmth this Christmas. Take care.

  13. I too wish you and all of our blogging friends a truly wonderful Christmas season. I love hummers and appreciate all you do for them! :-)

  14. Thanl you so much Joh. Your blog post was a real "feestje".

  15. Magnificent images dear John !!!

    i am impressed by your blogging and find it fascinating and inspiring
    all people live in this world but how many stop and look at nature and ponder ,learn and share as beautifully as you do ,wise and profound way indeed you have here to make us all fall in love with nature
    i am speechless with looking at these views you shared ,just enchanting!!!!!!!!
    i agree with Eileen and you and i am thankful for this realization of blessings we have here ,a divine gift for sure
    Happy Christmas my friend!

  16. Hi John :) I love your hummingbird photos, against the beauty of the sky, what a treat to see! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!

  17. This is such a beautiful post and full of good information too...perfect! I saw a hummingbird outside our apartment kitchen window this morning, a cold day here in Eugene (31 at the time.). Poor thing, but I have been told that there is one species of hummer here in the PNW that does not migrate (never has). So feeders must be a good thing.

  18. "The best things in life are the people we love, the places we've been and the memories we made along the way."

    I agree 100%

    All the best Jan


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