Sleeping Humming Birds
by Eliazbeth Jean Billups
(Mountains of North Idaho)
One evening, after the 20 plus hummers had left the feeders, I went out to fill them. One is on a pully system, since it is too high for me to reach. As I was lowering it, to remove and fill it, there was one little hummer still on the perch! So, I tied it off, to leave it alone. Being next to a window, I kept an eye on it all night, practically.
About 2 hours later, it was hanging upside down, like a bat! Surprised, I went to GOOGLE, to do some research. And in order to conserve energy, they go into a semi-hibernation state, and eventually swing down, hanging like a bat!
The next morning, I got up about 5, to see if it was still there, wanting to see how it was going to wake up and take off. As the other hummers showed up, this little guy dropped...I went outside, and it had died! I guess that is why it had not left the feeder the night before, perhaps...at least it had a last meal! It now lays on an autumn leaf, on my display shelf...
Now, 2 weeks later, today was the first day, that there was not a mass attack of the two feeders. Actually most of the day, hardly any showed up (I was going thru at least 4 cups of nectar water a day, for the past 5 or 6 weeks!)... now, I need to find out WHY? Are they heading south? Or are they off busy making nests and having families....I've got no idea!!!
I would suggest that right now they are feeding the nestlings. We have a nest in our honeysuckle bush. We saw the eggs that were the size of jelly beans and now we have babies that are very hungry!
I wonder what caused the hummingbird to die?