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How to Help Hummingbirds in Winter | BeCause Tees

How to Help Hummingbirds in Winter

Ever wondered how you can help hummingbirds in Winter? Because many hummingbirds are migratory, the inclination can be to put feeders away during the winter. Let’s examine whether this is the correct thing to do.

Hummingbird feeder

Leave Hummingbird Feeders Out

The consensus is to leave hummingbird feeders out in the winter. You don’t need to worry about the presence of a feeder affecting a hummingbirds migration – according to the National Audobon Society, hummingbirds know when it’s time to migrate because of changes in day length and angle of the sun, and so the availability of nectar doesn’t have an impact.

Leaving out your hummingbird feeder can help hummingbirds that overwinter in your area, in addition to those travelling through.

 Hummingbird mid flight

How to Look After Your Hummingbird Feeder In Winter

We’ve previously discussed how to maintain a bird nectar feeder, but there are more things to take into consideration during the winter.

Cold temperatures during the winter pose a problem for hummingbird feeders, as they could cause feeders to freeze. There are several things you can do to prevent this from happening:

Carefully Choose the Feeder Location

Exposure to wind might cause feeders to freeze more easily, so bear this in mind when choosing a location for your feeder. A spot that is more sheltered from the wind, such as next to a shed, will help to reduce the chances of the feeder freezing.

Help to Keep the Feeder Warm

There are several ways you can help to warm up hummingbird feeders so they don’t freeze, such as:

  • Placing them close to an outdoor light
  • Installing a heat lamp close by
  • Wrapping them in materials such as socks, lagging tape, or a towel.

Bring the Feeder Inside at Night

It might be beneficial to bring the feeder inside at night, as this is when temperatures are likely to dip the most. However, hummingbirds usually need food early in the morning, so this is the best strategy if you’re an early riser!

Keep Your Feeder Clean

While feeders don’t need to be cleaned quite as often as during warmer times, they still should be cleaned at least once every week during the winter to ensure there’s no build up of bacteria.

Can You Provide a Feeder for the Whole Winter?

If you provide a hummingbird feeder at the start of the winter, hummingbirds may come to rely on your feeder as a winter source for the whole season. This means you should only provide a feeder at the onset of winter if you’ll be able to consistently clean and refill it for the duration of winter. This is an important point to bear in mind.

Providing a clean, full nectar feeder is therefore a great way to help humingbirds in winter, but only if you can provide it all winter long. Shop our Ruby-Throated Hummingbird and Hummingbird with Lillies Heart designs today and we'll donate to environmental nonprofits on your behalf, including Pollinator Partnership. Help us to help them!

Hummingbird hand towel

3 Responses

BeCause Tees

BeCause Tees

January 15, 2024

Not that we’ve come across Sandee. You could try putting it in a sheltered spot, like a covered porch if you have one perhaps.

Sandee

Sandee

January 15, 2024

Is there some kind of shelter for hummers who winter over? I have feeder heater for the feeder, but we’re having a pretty cold & snowy here in Oregon. We left the heater on all night, but it froze so we changed the food and wrapped the glass in bubble wrap and watching it. We have a hummer who just sitting on a flower eats, but the wind and snow has him swinging!

Karen

Karen

December 20, 2023

I wonder if the heater would make it better for the birds also if it is near their feeder. I have one that did not migrate and I want it to be better for him when it is cold.

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