While the petite size of the hummingbird is part of the fascination people have with them, it also makes them susceptible to danger. There are many obstacles that the little hummers face on a daily basis and some are easier to overcome than others. Here are a few of the dangers that hummingbirds face, and a few ways that you can help.
Weather plays a huge factor in the health of the hummingbird. While they have a natural way of combating cold weather, a deep freeze can result in their death. The same goes for extreme heat because it can dehydrate them. The best way to help them in these situations is when the freezing weather comes, you can warm the nectar because it takes the hummers less energy to digest the warm food versus cold food. You can also place a handyman style light fixture with a 150 watt bulb that is weather proof near the feeder. The warmth from the bulb will keep them warmer at night and many will sleep near the light, or even on the fixture. In the extreme heat, be sure you change your nectar frequently, so it doesn’t spoil and add extra feeders to your landscape for the additional feeding times.
When the wind and rain comes, there isn’t a lot you can do except provide hummingbird houses. One heavy drop of rain can push the birds to the ground or into water, and the wind can blow them into objects injuring them. Weather is something that all hummingbirds have to overcome and by doing your part, you can help them out in a tough situation.
Some of the main predators that hummingbirds face are cats because they love to watch the swift moves hummers make, and they are an attainable size. Cats generally won’t eat the birds, but they are just in it for the fun of chasing. Large birds also like to prey on the little hummers and their eggs. Even Praying Mantises and other large insects will try to capture the tiny birds, and a spider’s web can trap the little hummer and make them a meal.
Humans can also be a danger to hummingbirds without them even knowing it. They can fly into buildings and windows, and sometimes when you move objects to a new location like a car, they will follow their every day path and right in to the object you moved on them. Also, if you put out a hummingbird feeder and don’t change the nectar, it can spoil and the hungriest of birds will still eat it. However, this can cause a fungus to develop on their tongues over time not allowing them to eat, and they will eventually starve to death.
It’s also important that if you have open windows and doors, you make sure you don’t have any loose hummingbirds that have flown in. When they get trapped in a home or building, they will not get the food that they need to survive. Take care in doing everything you can to protect hummingbirds from dangers, and you’ll start to see more hummingbirds in your community.