Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tough Little Survivor

Update on Emmy - she made it through the cold snap this week just fine! Here she is feeding this morning in the shrub by the kitchen window. You often hear people say that someone or something is "tough as nails." The metaphor instead should be - "tough as a hummingbird!" This little wisp of a being weighs an eighth of an ounce, yet she survived 36 hours of windchill temperatures in the single digits and teens (for those of you who are curious, I googled that, I didn't weigh her ;).

I'm sure she's a happy little bird now - it's 40 degrees, on its way up to 51 today. Highs are forecast to be in the 50s, lows in the 30s and 40s for the next six days. This is warm for January in western NC. Maybe she has a guardian angel!

Check out my do-it-yourself bird warming station! The knowledgeable folks at Wild Birds Unlimited advised that a heat lamp can help provide a warming zone, so I purchased one at the hardware store and used the ladder to position it near the feeder. On the coldest evening, she was hovering in front of it for brief intervals!

Another part of the makeshift setup that looks a little silly but serves an important function...see that metal bucket below the lamp? That's in case the 25-30 mph winds managed to loosen or wiggle the clamp. The heat lamp would then theoretically fall into the bucket, not onto the bed of dry leaves below, which could burn the house down. They don't call me "The Fire Marshal" for nothing!

Hope the rest of you will get to enjoy milder weather this weekend too. According to the Weather Channel guys, even northern Minnesota and North Dakota will have above-average temperatures for the next few days. It probably won't last long, but let's enjoy it while we can!


  1. This is so exciting... I do love hummers and have only seen Ruby-throated in our area!!!!
    Keep up the great work you're doing, helping this feathered jewel through the winter!

  2. Oh, this is wonderful - so great of you to take such care of little Emmy!

  3. Good to hear Emmy made it through. So cute
    Benny & Lily

  4. Oh, I'm so very, very happy that she is doing okay! I thought about her yesterday when I was visiting the Hummingbird building at the AZ Sonoran Desert Museum (which is really more of an outdoor *living* history self-guided walking tour). Well done, Brenda!!!! :-)

  5. That's fantastic! Like I said before, she's very lucky to have found you! Thanks for taking such great care of her.

  6. Great news! Yes, we have some nicer weather now, too. Don't think it will last long but I'll take whatever we can get.

  7. Bless your kind heart!!!! What a sweet little survivor indeed!! You have gone all out for this tiny bird. Proud of you.

    I will be enjoying warmer temps myself very soon!!! A friend and I are escaping to Loews in Santa Monica CA on Jan 19 for a long girls weekend getaway! Thank Goodness!!!!!!

  8. I'm glad to hear Emmy is doing well. She will survive this winter thanks to you! YOU are the guardian angel for this little creature!

  9. Hi Miss Brenda,
    Mom and I came over from Dog Daze to reall all about your most amazing guest for the winter...Emmy. Bless your heart for taking such good car of her and seeing to her every need.
    I'm so glad you are documenting this visit too!
    We'll be checking in with you often,
    Madi and Mom

  10. please excuse Mom's typos..she was so excited her fingers got ahead of her brain.

  11. Thanks to ALL of you for your kind comments and for caring with me about a little misplaced hummingbird. It feels like Emmy has a big support group, with all of us rooting for her!

  12. Great news Brenda. I am constantly amazed at hummingbirds. You've taken such good care of her. You have a good heart my friend.

    Weather has been crazy. This morning it is warmer in Atlanta than southwest Florida. Enjoy yours.