How do I protect my hummingbirds in the winter?

Answered by Antonio Sutton

To protect your hummingbirds in the winter, there are several steps you can take to ensure their safety and well-being. Here are some tips:

1. Bring feeders indoors: During extremely cold weather, it’s a good idea to bring your hummingbird feeders indoors overnight to prevent them from freezing. Place them in a warm area, such as a garage or utility room, where the temperature remains above freezing.

2. Rotate feeders: If you have multiple feeders, rotate them out every day or two. This way, you can bring the frozen feeder indoors to defrost while providing a fresh, unfrozen feeder for the hummingbirds to feed from. This ensures they always have access to liquid food.

3. Use a dome or cover: Consider using a dome or cover over your feeder to protect it from snow, sleet, and ice. This will help prevent the feeders from becoming clogged or frozen. Make sure the dome is securely attached to provide proper protection.

4. Position the feeder strategically: Place the feeder in a location that is sheltered from cold winds and exposure. This could be near a building or under a tree. By positioning it in a protected area, you can help reduce the impact of cold weather on the hummingbirds while they feed.

5. Attach hand warmers: Attach hand warmers to the outside of the feeder to provide additional warmth. These disposable warmers can be found at most outdoor or camping supply stores. Make sure they are securely attached and do not interfere with the hummingbirds’ access to the feeding ports.

6. Consider using heat tape: Heat tape, typically used for preventing pipes from freezing, can also be used to keep hummingbird feeders from freezing. Wrap the heat tape around the feeder, following the manufacturer’s instructions. This can provide a constant source of low-level heat to prevent the nectar from freezing.

Remember, it’s important to monitor your feeders regularly and make sure they are clean and filled with fresh nectar. In colder temperatures, the nectar may freeze more quickly, so it’s essential to check on the feeders frequently to ensure the hummingbirds have access to food.

By taking these precautions and providing a warm and accessible food source, you can help protect your hummingbirds during the winter months. Enjoy the beauty of these amazing creatures all year round!