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Frequently Asked Questions

Please look for the answer to your question on this page before writing me. If you still can't find what you need, send email.

Don't forget to tell me where you live.

 
 
Q:

I live on the Pacific coast. It's winter and I still have hummingbirds. Aren't they supposed to migrate?

A: Anna's Hummingbird is a year-round resident as far north as Victoria, BC. They are cold hardy at least into the teens (Fahrenheit) and aren't bothered by snow. A spot or flood light will keep a feeder from freezing.
Q:

When should I hang my feeder?

A: Watch the migration map. Check the previous years' maps, too.
Q:

When should I take my feeder down?

A: See this page.
Q:

Why don't I have any hummingbirds?

A: Please don't ask me to guess. Hummingbirds may not use feeders much during nesting season, or when favored wildflowers are blooming. According to the annual Breeding Bird Surveys, all North American hummingbird species except Rufous have stable or increasing populations, though their local distribution may vary from year to year.
Q:

What should I put in my feeder? Should I add red dye? What about ants and bees?

A: The answers are on the Feeders page.
Q:

How long before the eggs hatch?

A: 2 to 3 weeks. The chicks will leave the nest about 3 weeks later.
Q:

Help! I found an injured / orphaned hummer.

A: See this page, this page, and this page.
Q:

A hummingbird is trapped in my garage!

A: Try this rescue technique.
Q:

If I hang a hummingbird feeder next to my finch feeder, will it cause a problem?

A: Probably not. If there's a conflict, just move one of them.
Q:

Do hummers reuse nests? If not, I'd like to keep one.

A: Some hens reuse them. But collecting bird nests is illegal without a Federal permit.
Q:

How fast do hummingbirds flap their wings?

A: For small hummers like Ruby-throated, about 55 times per second. Normal flight speed is about 25 MPH.
Q:

How long do hummingbirds live?

A: About 4 years on average. The record is 12.
Q:

Do hummingbirds migrate on the backs of geese?

A: In a word, no.
Q:

Did I see a baby hummingbird? It was very small and had stripes/spots/antennae.

A: It was a moth. See pictures here and here.
Q:

Why are my hummers so hateful? All they do is fight.

A: They are extremely territorial. More feeders, out of sight of each other, can help.
Q:

Do you have plans for a hummer house?

A: Hummingbirds won't use a house.
Q:

I need replacement parts for my Perky-Pet feeder.

A: Try Perky-Pet's website.
Q:

Can I tell how many hummers I have by the amount of syrup they consume?

A: Not precisely, because you can't know what they're eating elsewhere, but you can make a reasonable estimate. One study suggests 1000 birds per gallon consumed daily. Or count the highest number of birds on your feeders at one time, then multiply by 6.
Q:

The mother no longer sleeps on the nest. Did she abandon her chicks?

A: Once the chicks are able to regulate their own body temperatures, mom will sleep on a nearby branch.
 

 

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