Saturday, January 01, 2022
(December’s fullest “Cold Moon” is in Waning Crescent; January’s fullest “Wolf Moon” rises on the 17th.)
Several years ago, I heard that some hummingbirds don’t fly south in winter, and instead, remain in Central Oregon. This cold, snowy country will freeze liquid bird food. I’m a feathered-friend feeder, keep seed-feeders full through winters, but pull and store liquid feeders before they freeze. A couple years ago, I discovered a warming device for hummingbird feeders and obtained one.
The warmer wasn’t much to see. Some plastic covered a four watt Christmas-light bulb. There were hanging strings and not-very-good instructions. After examining the items, I set them aside, and for a couple of winters since have continued to pull liquid feeders.
Except for this winter.
Yesterday, New Year’s Eve Day, I stood in the kitchen looking out a window and zeroed-in on a hummingbird feeder. Still hanging, its liquid frozen, needing removal. That very moment, a hummingbird landed on the feeder’s perch. Astonished, I watched it try drinking and fly away.
In the dead of winter! Our area does have wintering hummingbirds.
I found the neglected feeder-heater and instructions, brought all inside to study. I have trouble conceptualizing, needed the feeder itself. After bringing in the frozen unit and fiddling around, I connected heater and feeder and plugged the unit into an outlet. After awhile, the little bulb began to transform frozen to liquid.
I understood how it worked! A bird sips liquid from the lower, warm cup. Liquid in the feeder’s upper region remains frozen, but the heated cup facilitating drips keeps filling.
Once hung outside the kitchen window, the heated feeder became a welcoming light for hungry hummingbirds. Toward a healthy 2022! That an odd little heater can do so makes me feel good.
Dear Friends: Happy New Year! May 2022 be healthy and enjoyable for all. Diana