[Tweeters] Hand Warmers and Hummers?

Chuck Reinsch creinsch at humbirds.org
Tue Dec 16 12:57:43 PST 2008

Not sure that I really want to enter the fray, given the tone that is
developing, but Steve Compton is correct. Many (all?) of the Anna's seen in
Western Washington are resident (they live here year round), and seem to
move within relatively small ranges. Some people attribute Anna's expanding
their ranges to human's having cultivated non-native garden plants that
provide nectar sources. Others attribute it to climate change.
Hummingbirds' primary source of protein is insects, which is why they seem
to favor habitats near watery insect breeding grounds. The flower nectar
(sugar) is merely an energy boost tht helps to fire their engines.
Migration is a complex phenomenon that may be triggered by a combination of
factors including hours of daylight, temperature, hormones, and other
changes of which we may be unaware.

Although there is a lot we do not know about hummingbirds, there is a wealth
of published research, available to both technical and lay person. I am
unaware of any evidence in the literature to confirm an assertion that a
feeder, warm or cold, could persuade a Rufous, Ruby Throat, or Black Chinned
to delay migration. The truely curious might check out
http://www.hiltonpond.org/ or http://www.hummingbirds.net/ (see
http://www.hummingbirds.net/about.html#when), or any of the many other sites
and publications about hummers.

chuck reinsch, magnolia, seattle, wa, (creinsch at humbirds.org)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Oliver May" <omayo at soon.com>
To: <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 11:59 AM
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Hand Warmers and Hummers?

Steve Compton Wrote

> ----- Original Message -----

> From: scompton1251 at charter.net

> Birders,



> Most experts now believe that feeding hummingbirds in the winter

> does not alter their migration or wintering patterns.


> Steve Compton

> Greenville,SC

What studies or logical theories support your statement,

And how could feeding hummingbirds in the winter not change their
wintering or migratory patterns?
If you weren't feeding them they would be somewhere far to the
south of Washington where plants ARE flowering, probably in Arizona or
southern California
Because when I look outside of my window I don't see any flowers
providing nectar for hummers, just man made hummingbird feeders
and now they have handwarmers attached to them.
How could that NOT change Hummingbirds natural behavior?
Can anyone provide a theory for that?

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