October Temperatures

October 10, 2017 by Rita Welch

The number of sightings each week is dropping and so are temperatures. What adaptations help hummingbirds survive cold?

“I saw this hummingbird in the garden today, nectaring on Mexican sunflowers before taking a break on a spent flower stem,” wrote Amy Evoniuk from Newburgh, Indiana on October 4, 2017.

Going, Going…

Even though migration is winding down, people from north to south, are still seeing hummingbirds stopping by to refuel. Keep watching — each sighting is valuable. Every report puts a dot on the map and shows when and where hummingbirds are present.

Missouri: “I was thinking about taking feeders down since my last sighting was 2 weeks ago, but one hummingbird showed up today,” wrote Jessica from Farmington on October 8th.

Temperatures Falling

It has been an unseasonably warm fall, but now observers are starting to report falling temperatures:

Delaware: “It was a surprise to still see them at the feeders in the lilac bush. We had 3 nights where temperatures went below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. These must be the last ones to depart,” wrote George from Dover on October 2nd.

Florida: “We have had 65 degrees in the morning and 86 degrees in the afternoon. Hummers are feeding on lantana, zinnia, and at the feeders. I can feel autumn in the air and the hummingbird season coming to an end,” wrote Chris from Tallahassee on October 2nd.

How do hummingbirds cope with cold temperatures? Read about fluffing, shivering, and going into torpor in this week’s featured article about adaptations to cold.

Surviving Cold Temperatures