Coldest Day of Winter

Male Anna’s hummingbird photographed around this time last year

Today was pretty easily the coldest day so far this winter. Though I was checking fairly often, I never saw the official temperature climb above about 22F. It was breezy out in some areas, though fortunately my neighborhood was in a protected spot. Previously up to a couple of inches of snow had been forecast for today, however there ended up being some snow that fell, but no accumulation.

I had a computer failure yesterday that motivated me to do some upgrading that I had been intending to do for a while, so I spent the day at the house, only stepping out a few times to see what was going on. While I was working on the computer I noticed the male Anna’s Hummingbird visiting the frozen feeder multiple times. I think he was getting some food out – a previous time when I had checked, there was still liquid in the bottom, I think probably very concentrated sugar water that didn’t freeze up. It makes me wonder how the birds keep their tongues from freezing, though. If the hummingbirds can survive the next 24-48 hours, it’s supposed to warm back up into the 30s, and I imagine it will get a little easier for them. (Plus it probably doesn’t hurt that some other folks with feeders keep them thawed, which kind of makes me wonder why they visit feeders at my house at all in these conditions.)

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