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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Keeping hummingbird feeders from freezing

The following tip comes from David Tracy, posted to the OBOL email list. David has a rare Costa's Hummingbird coming to a feeder in freezing cold Bend, Oregon. So, if you live where it gets cold, but want to keep a hummingbird feeder out (because who knows what kind of rare hummer you could get in the winter), here you go:

If you want to keep your feeder defrosted like one of the pros, go to
the local plumbing supply store. Not Lowes or Home Depot, they will only give you a blank stare. Here in Bend try Searing's on N.E. 2nd street. Invest the $8-10 for a clamp-on light fixture that looks like this (photo here).

Plug in a 125 Watt Infra-red light bulb, but don't get the red-glass type. Get an I.R. bulb with clear envelope, it casts a more natural light. Hang it using the adjustable, integrated clamp so it points at the feeder from one or two feet away. This is the way plumbers defrost frozen pipes. I plug mine up to a timer so it comes on an hour before sunrise and clicks off an hour after sunset.

5 comments:

mon@rch said...

What a great way to keep the feeder fresh and defrosted! Looks like a bunch of work but should be well worth the effort to get an unusual hummingbird like that!

DirtDigger (Tessa) said...

Hello,

I live in Portland, and the whether has been really cold- I'm wondering if you are having success with that hummingbird feeder light- and you losing any bulbs? Are you keeping the light 1 or 2 feet away from the feeder? I'm assuming that those bulbs get much hotter than regular- that is why you must keep it at such a distance? Thanks.

Tessa (dirtdigger)
www.blossomsnblunders.blogspot.com

Kim Kindig said...

I went right out and purchased a heat lamp and it really works. I have had to rotate the feeder a little because of the east winds, but the hummers are happy today and I don't have to bring in the feeder every 30 minutes or so. Thank you for posting this!

Anonymous said...

Not wanting to risk the chance of fire while I am at work, I opted to take some hand-warmers (from Costco) and duct-tape them to the feeder just above the feeding holes. They keep the liquid from freezing and don't seem to bother the hummers!

Anonymous said...

I just spent yesterday and early this morning running in and out of the ice and snow changing hummingbird feeders so they would have fresh food so I am delighted to find this solution, especially sonce we are suppose to be getting a horrible winter, the worse in decades! Thank you, Sandy, Mountlake Terrace, WA.

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