Winter Hummingbirds

There has been a lot of action (posts) on the Wisconsin Birding List of late discussing wintering/vagrant (lost?) hummingbirds especially since there are two probable Rufous Hummingbirds at separate locations in Wisconsin.  The weather in northern Illinois has been frigid so these hummers are certainly tough.  I have three points to make about the posting:

1.  It is great to see so much bird talk among birders.  IBET, the Illinois bird listserv only gets that sort of discussion when a rare bird is sighted (usually at Montrose, a little habitat droplet among the sea of concrete that is Chicago) and everyone goes to see it.  Check!

2.  One of the main quabbles on the Wisbird was whether to keep up hummingbird feeders into the winter.  It has pretty much been proven that birds go where they need to go based on their own schedule, not how they are fed artificially.  I suppose people could argue that you shouldn’t feed birds at all but that is ridiculous.  All feeders do is allow for easier observation of birds while they are eating.  In crummy weather, the feeders help birds out tremendously but from my observations, birds don’t spend all day at one feeder and find food in multiple locations.

3.  It is great that such a small bird can bring such joy to those who observe, photograph, and yes, check it off their lists.  I’ll leave my thoughts on listing and tickers for another bloglet (post).

One thought on “Winter Hummingbirds

  1. I totally agree. Birds use feeders primarily as a ‘just in case of emergency.’ I feel that once food becomes scarce during spring migration and the winter. During fall migration there are a lot less feeder birds, at least my feeders. The hummers in WI probably have not had the right conditions to leave yet and feeders are their primary source of food. Until last weeks storm I still had green leaves and a few flowers left on some of my bushes.

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