Friday, October 21, 2016 Anna’s Hummer

Seward, Alaska

Sunrise 8:54 am, sunrise 6:29 pm for a total day light of 9 hours and 34 minutes. Tomorrow will be 5 minutes and 19 seconds shorter.

Conversely, the nights are getting longer: 14 hours and 26 minutes for the ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRDS in Seward (two recently verified) to sit and wait in a suspended state of torpor as the temp drops below freezing.

Today was blustery, with a whirling, undecided, raw wind that only increased with speed by nightfall. Mostly clear skies are forecast for the next five days with corresponding freezing temperatures at night and gusty, strong winds. Daytime temps are forecast to be in the mid-30s to low 40s; not bad, out of the wind.

I measured the heat from the clamp lamp’s 13W compact fluorescent bulb last night and found the temperature was not much warmer away from the bulb. I decided to move the lamp directly under the hummingbird feeder to perhaps radiate the heat upwards and be more effective.

As the daytime temperatures drop, I will replace the 13-watt bulb with a less efficient incandescent bulb to give him more heat.

I wondered and worried whether the Anna’s would accept this new development, assuming it survived the cold night. This morning at 9:10 am, shortly after sunrise, there he was! He did freak out, however, dashing in for a quick sip, then backed off to check for any danger. He checked his reflection on the shiny lamp, and apparently decided it wasn’t a challenger. For a long time, he would only hover and sip then zip away.

When I checked again in the mid-afternoon, he was sitting and sipping, apparently accepting the sunken sun. Whenever I could check, he seemed to be feeding regularly, dashing off towards the nearby spruce tree to rest and watch. Like yesterday, he fed well into dusk, almost to 6:30 pm, a tiny green bump at the feeder, a blur in the not-so-perky nasturtiums.

As the wind rattles around the house tonight, I hope he is holding on tight, snuggled deep in the shelter of the nearby spruce. Can’t wait to wish him “Good morning!”

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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