Anna’s Hummingbirds Winter within the North
Written by Bob Sundstrom
That is BirdNote.
[Male Anna’s Hummingbird singing]
On a cold February morning close to Seattle, with the temperature hovering under 40 levels, a chook is singing lustily. [Male Anna’s Hummingbird singing] And never simply any chook. It’s a hummingbird! A male Anna’s Hummingbird, whose throat and crown flash iridescent rose. [Male Anna’s Hummingbird singing]
However what’s a hummingbird doing this far north in winter?
Whereas most hummingbirds retreat south in autumn, Anna’s are present in northern latitudes all year long. Since 1960, they’ve moved their year-round restrict north from California to British Columbia. They’re making the most of broadly planted flowering vegetation and shrubs in addition to hummingbird feeders.
However how do they survive the northern chilly? They appear unlikely pioneers, since hummingbirds don’t have any down feathers for insulation and a metabolism that runs so excessive that they might exhaust their vitality reserves on a chilly evening.
[Cold winter wind ambient]
The hummingbird’s resolution? Droop that prime price of metabolism by getting into a state of torpor – a kind of nightly hibernation, the place coronary heart price and physique temperature are decreased to a naked minimal. Many hummingbirds, reminiscent of these residing within the excessive Andes, depend on the identical technique.
Sure, Anna’s Hummingbird has come north to remain. [Wing whir of male Anna’s Hummingbird] And its jewel-like presence on the nectar feeder provides sparkle to any winter day.
[Wing whir of male Anna’s Hummingbird]
For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.
Bird sounds offered by The Macaulay Library on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Wing whir recorded by David Allen . Male Anna’s Hummingbird music  recorded by T.G. Sander.
Winter ambient C Peterson and Kessler Productions
Producer: John Kessler
Government Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2013 Tune In to Nature.org February 2017/2019/2022 Narrator: Mary McCann