About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hummingbird in the Snow

Hello, I live in Canal Winchester, Ohio and still have 2 maybe 3 Hummingbirds that are still here.  I thought 4 weeks ago they were stragglers but can tell since I have kept the feeders up  they are the same ones.  I have one that is red necked another that has white on his neck and belly and another that is all green.   Since this is November 20, 2011 why would they still be here and will they eventually fly south.  I'm really concerned with the weather getting colder. Any suggestions....I'm baffled but love still seeing them. ~ Canal Winchester, Ohio

Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus)

It’s not unheard of for hummingbirds to still be around in November. The Ruby-throated hummingbird Archilochus colubris is the most common hummingbird in my state of Michigan and your state of Ohio. The females and juveniles are all green with a white underbelly. The male is the same except for the bright red throat patch. eBird has reported them in November at Blendon Woods Metro Park in Ohio.
  
The Rufous Hummingbird Selasphorus rufus isn’t the most common but it is the most widely-distributed hummingbird in North America. The males have a red-gold iridescent throat and chin with a back that may be green or rufous.  Females are greenish above with rufous-washed flanks, and a whitish belly.

It is not unheard of for them to stick around until after it snows. eBird has a few documented in Michigan and Ohio late into November and December. They winter in Mexico but these feisty birds can survive in extremely cold temperatures if there is food available. Some people have even shared stories of how they wrap their hummingbird feeder in Christmas lights to keep the nectar unfrozen. Click HERE for a photo of a Rufous in the snow.

If you spot a bird that you think is unusual for this time of year you can check with local birding groups, or Wild Birds Unlimited stores or go to eBird.org. For a real-time, online checklist program, eBird has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird provides rich data sources for basic information on birds’ distribution.
 

Thank you so much for the information.  I won't worry about them now that I know this is not uncommon. I have several girls in the office that share the love for these little birds so it will be fun to forward your information to them. Once again.....Thank you and Happy Holidays

Related Articles:
·  Don't take your feeders down on Labor Day http://bit.ly/vawleL
·  Do hummingbirds migrate together? http://bit.ly/rVOJVm
·  Hummingbird chauffeured to Florida http://bit.ly/qSZYhK  
· The Best Hummingbird Feeders: http://bit.ly/qgukNI
· How fast can a hummingbird fly?: http://bit.ly/qimFPY
· When did people start to feed hummingbirds?: http://bit.ly/o8Y8HR

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