Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hummers in the Snow

As you already know, one of the consistent delights about Oregon is that there are hummingbirds that stay all winter.  (You may worry, as my neighbor did, that feeding them encourages them not to migrate and puts their bitty lives in danger.  I did some research on this and it turns out that once the urge to migrate starts, all of the nectar in the world can’t keep them from going.  So if they stay it’s actually a service to feed them.)  (You may also feel like I am focusing over-much on the previously mentioned ultra-long Oregon hummingbird season.  That is because I focus over-much on anything & everything I like about Oregon.  Since, you know, I’m still not a 100% fan of living in Oregon.)

Anyway.  Back to the hummers. 

Last week (as you also already know) the Pacific Northwest was hit by a big winter snowstorm.  We started with 7 inches of snow and ended with a nice topping of ice on that.  It was enough to close the MAX down when the freezing rain built up, and I am not sure that has ever happened before.

Anyway.  Back to the hummers. 

As the snow fell and fell, it piled up on everything.


Including the hummingbird feeders.


One of the kids pointed it out to me when they noticed the poor hummingbird (who didn’t get the urge to migrate to warmer climes, remember?) flitting around and around, puzzled by lack of access to nectar.


When I saw what was going on I staked out the window, took a bunch of feeders, then sent a child outside to knock the snow off of all of the feeders.  Those poor hungry birds!

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The other thing we noticed was that the hummers were resting in unusual places.  We’ve seen one sitting here before when the feeder was in the midst of the tomato forest, but not since the tomato plants have been gone.


But we’ve never seen one sitting here, on the fish yard ornament.  (That you are NOT surprised that I own, I’m sure.)


I was baffled by this until I looked at the world through the eyes of a hummingbird.  And realized that all of the normal places they like to perch were covered with snow.  At least this fish’s fin stayed snow free, unlike the tree they like to hang out in!


I’m sure that all of the hummingbirds were thrilled when the snow started melting on Monday and they could go back to their regularly scheduled eating schedule.

Don’t you think?

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