It’s cold outside, and the hummingbirds feel it. Like other birds, a cold hummingbird fluffs its feathers to keep warm. The fluffed feathers trap warm air from the hummingbird’s body. This male Anna’s Hummingbird is perching so that his fluffed feathers also cover his feet.
We also notice that our resident Anna’s Hummingbirds always seem a little more round during the winter. They obviously gain weight. A layer of fat is good insulation and a good source of emergency energy.
We have not seen any hummingbirds in torpor here. But sometimes a cold hummingbird will sit on the feeder for a long time, not drinking, not looking around, just spacing out.
If you have hummingbirds over this winter, here is post about helping hummingbirds in cold weather by Sheri Williamson, author of a Field Guide to the Hummingbirds of North America (this book is one of our favorite guides – our hummingbird gift ideas shows more of our favorite resources).
Happy winter and stay warm!