For the first time this year, the temperature soared to 90-degrees Fahrenheit in my neck of the woods.  There is no doubt in my mind the thermometer will record temperatures this high and above before the end of summer.  When temperatures reach this level, they can have a deleterious impact on ruby-throated hummingbirds.  Here are a few things you can do about it.

       One the obvious thing that you will notice is the tiny birds will feed far less frequently than normal during the heat of the day.  They try to keep themselves away from the beating rays of the sun as much as possible.  Like us, they can overheat.  Consequently, between less frequent visits to our feeders they perch in the shade provided by trees and shrubs.  If your yard is devoid of such shady cover and there is none nearby, they may not appear at you feeder at all during the heat of the day. 

       Hummingbirds have such a high rate of metabolism, they must feed every 10-15 minutes through the day, consequently, not feeding as often as usual can result in serious metabolic problems for the birds.

       Another problem facing the birds is, more often than not, nectar plants stop or produce far less nectar during the heat of the day.  Consequently, in order to meet their dietary needs, rubythroats often face having to rely more heavily on our feeders for food.

       With that in mind, we can all plant more nectar plants and keep our feeders stocked with fresh nectar.  In addition, if you do not have any trees in your yard, it might be a good idea to plant one.  Such an addition to your yard will provide ruby-throated hummingbirds with much-needed shade long before it will do the same for you.

       Let’s all do whatever we can to help this favorite backyard neighbor deal with the heat.




  1. Thanks for the information. I’ve had my feeders out for a couple of weeks, but haven’t seen too many interested in them. A few days ago, I hung a feeder under the porch. I’ve noticed quite a bit more activity. They seem to prefer the shaded spot.

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