Junior in the snow

by Paul Miller
(Vancouver, Washington, USA)





In parts of Western Washington State, we are fortunate to have Anna's hummingbirds year-round. The winters here are usually mild and wet with only a rare outbreak of cold weather. When there is snow, ice and cold it almost always is a short-lived event and the birds are able to weather the chill just fine. Yesterday, February 24th we had freak late winter storm that dumped 3 inches of heavy snow overnight. At daybreak, I checked the feeders to be sure they hadn't iced over. Our backyard resident hummers wouldn't like that! I keep a heating cord tied to one of the feeders as insurance against freezing. Immediately after inspecting the feeders, Junior, one of our 5 backyard hummer residents showed up for a drink. After his drink, he always looks for a perch where he sits to let the nectar settle. This day the heavy mantle of wet snow flocked all his favorite branches. After his drink, Junior buzzed about the backyard, with increasing frustration, looking for a snow-free branch and finally found a bare twig atop our butterfly bush tree.

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