With frosty weather coming in I needed to make a hummingbird feeder heater to stop the sugar water from freezing. There are Anna’s hummingbirds that over-winter in Vancouver.
The birds have amazing adaptations to survive cold weather but unusually cold times are hard on them.
Commercial feeder heaters are expensive so I made one with a few things on hand. This setup had to be easy to bring inside and clean as nectar needs to be replaced no later than once a week (every few days if possible). It also had to be easy to stick outside on my window which is 4 stories up.
I am amazed that some species of hummingbird migrate from BC to Mexico each year.
Also loons migrate from the BC Interior down south to California each year. They cannot “take off” from dry land, only lakes, so when they stop for a rest it must be on water of they cannot get airborne again. Mother nature is amazing
Just bumping this as chilly times are coming. It’s a good time to put out a heated hummingbird feeder. I was also talking to a couple of people at the space last night who also have heated feeder setups including one that uses a hacked handwamer. If you have a heated hummingbird setup, please post a photo on this thread.
Update! The diy hummingbird feeder heater is working well. Even at - 9 degrees the 7.5 watt light bulb kept the sugar solution from freezing. We are getting a lot of Anna’s hummingbirds every day. On cold days they even hang out on the feeder at night.
Janet, are you able to setup a motion detection camera on your feeder? I’ve been talking with a researcher and they are looking for photographic evidence of hummingbirds feeding at night. There is sufficient anecdotal evidence that they have launched a research project in to it and are looking for people who have hummingbird feeders with regular visitors that are able to record video at night.
I have exactly the same feeder, I’m going to build that heater. Thanks!
Hey @hectorh! That is so cool! Thanks for that. I will see if I can set something up to shoot motion activated video! Fantastic to hear some people are studying the night feeding and I would ove to contribute to that. Great you’re making a heater. Looking forward to seeing what you get up to with it.
Edit: I should add those little round 7.5watt bulbs with a standard base are at london drugs also if you’re looking for them. When it got really cold I was worried about the solution freezing and thought I might try a 25 or 40 watt applicance bulb but the 7.5watt one did the job nicely.
So ghetto but clearly this works. Has been in use for 3 years now (in Vancouver, in a row, for anyone still doubting climate change). The lamp fixture is an old and cheap adjustable thingy intended for studio lighting and the rest is janky screws on a random block of wood with a random L bracket, plus a couple of rubber washers to dampen any vibrations from… the building, I guess? Whole thing is plugged in to an exterior smart socket I usually use for the deck lighting. Works a charm! (I also tested the temperature with a good thermometer, it reads about 7°C warmer than ambient on the leftmost hook, about 10-15cm distant)