The Backyard's Bird Walks are starting up soon.

Our bird walks will resume on Sunday, Feb. 5th and Tuesday, Feb. 7th. February 5th we are going to Buttertubs Marsh and we meet at the end of Buttertubs Drive.
February 7th is at the Englishman River Estuary, Shelly Road side and we meet at Shelly Road.
All our bird walks are weather permitting. Updates and cancellations will be posted to the blog by 8am the day of.

Wednesday, 7 December 2022

Keeping Your Hummingbird Feeder from Freezing

Hummingbird feeders are an important supplementary energy source for hummingbirds, especially in the current weather conditions. With the low temperatures, it can be hard to keep your nectar solution from freezing. 

One simple option is to install a Hummer Hearth Hummingbird Feeder Heater. The heater is an attachment for existing hummingbird feeders and consists of a red cup with a lightbulb inside, three adjustable elastic clips to hold it firmly against your feeder, and a 6ft cord to plug in to an extension cord or outlet. 


The Hummer Hearth is best suited to feeders with a flat base, to limit the potential for heat loss if it gets windy, but can be adjusted to work with almost any feeder. Check out this link to see if your feeder will work. When using the heater with any bottle style feeder, we recommend adding insulation to the bottle to help keep the heat in. If you are using a heater, you do have to change the nectar solution more often (2-3 times a week instead of 1-2) as the heat acts like the sun during summer and speeds up the fermenting process.

Other options to keep nectar from freezing include 
  • Switching between two feeders as one starts to freeze. It's effective as long as someone is around to do the switching. 

  • Pulling the feeder in at night and putting it out right before sunrise. Hummingbirds go into a torpor state (similar to hibernation but for much shorter periods of time) at night and wake up a little before dawn, immediately searching out nectar for the energy they need to survive the day. 

  • Incandescent Christmas lights wrapped around the bottle. Incandescent lights give off heat, and can help slow down or halt freezing in bottle style feeders. To make it even more affective, wrap the light-covered feeder in a layer of insulation. 

  • Insulating the feeder with bubble, wrap, woolen socks, or other insulation. Most effective at slowing down freezing, or helping to freeze at a slightly lower temperature than bottles without insulation. 

  • Hanging 40watt incandescent lightbulb directly above or below. Incandescent lights give off heat, and can help slow down or halt freezing in bottle style feeders. Can also put a dome above the light to help radiate heat down. 

  • Bringing it in closer to the house to soak up residual heat from your home. The closer the better, though it is a stopgap method and likely will just make the nectar take slightly longer to freeze and not stop it from freezing.
Warm but not hot nectar can be very helpful to hummingbirds when they are just waking up out of their torpor state. If the nectar is too cold, sometimes it can shock them back into the torpor, which is when you may go outside to find a hummingbird hanging by it's feet off your feeder. 
Questions? Give us a call at 250-390-3669 or email us at thebackyard@shaw.ca

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