Last week a slight cool front came in for us – in the low sixties.  I still had a couple of hummingbird feeders up for stragglers that might be hanging around.  I saw one perched on a feeder for quite some time and mentioned it to Husband.  He went out to check it out and took some photos with the hummer still perched and fluffed out.

He was able to get  very close but the visitor never moved.  Usually, they don’t stay put for very long as anyone has tried to photograph them would agree.

He finally went up and picked it up.  It put up no resistance so he brought it into the house and warmed it between his hands.


It was a ruby-throated hummingbird and you can see a hint of red.  When they flash it in flight, it is a beautiful iridescent red displayed on their throat area.

It has opened its eyes but still made no movement – unusual for a hummer.   Yet we were afraid it might suddenly take off flying in the house.

I found a small cardboard box, took it outside in the back yard and placed a fluffy towel inside.  Husband brought the tiny bird out and placed it in the box while it glared back at him as if to say, “Were am I?”  Husband now took the camera again and took a photo of it in the box.  With that final flash of the camera, our friend regained his senses and quickly flew out of the box and high into a neighbor’s dense tree.

The next day I saw a ruby-throated come to the one feeder I had left out.  (The other one was becoming cloudy and that is not good for them.)   In the several days since we have only seen one lone hummer visit the feeder.  Was it our cold hummer?  Maybe, maybe not, but I hope we have helped it on his way south and were good hosts to all of them.

The quote below was enclosed in a birthday card to me from Son a couple of weeks ago.  It was timely in many ways.

“Legends say that hummingbird float free of time, carrying our hope for love, joy and celebration.  The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.”

64 thoughts on “COLD HUMMER

    • There have been none for the past couple of days so I think they have headed to Mexico before the next cold front. It must be fall as the white pelicans have arrived. I have seen a group of them making themselves at home on Nueces Bay. I will enjoy them until spring.

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      • This year we had fewer plants blooming due to the continual rain and a couple if cool spells – there were plenty of winged travelers around the neighborhood. One of our neighbors has a row of bottle brush bushes on steroids – covered with hummers a week ago. She’s needing to trim them back, but waiting – hope the hummers all whooshed on as one front tonight (with more rain), another following with a really cold one after that – 30’s predicted….palms will not be happy if they have to done their coats – they love to rattle in the winds!.

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    • We look forward every year to the arrival of these tiny birds. Earlier they were swarming all three feeders. The quote seemed perfect as they go on their way like people in and out of our lives. Always nice to hear from you, Diana! Cheers!


    • We seem to be right on their path and not too many miles away from the Rockport Hummingbird Festival held in September. Perhaps we get the overflow! Husband usually takes most of the photos but he had his hands full! I was grateful that those I took in the kitchen came out OK.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. YES, I think your hummer was cold. I think you saved her life. Toward the end of our hummingbird time here in NE (which was early September) we noticed that they were more fluffed out. I wondered why they didn’t leave sooner, but they liked our sugar water. 🙂 You and your hubby are heroes in my heart. And what a gorgeous quote on your son’s card.

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  2. Dear Jo Nell, Holding a hummingbird in your hand. That never happens. A once in a lifetime experience for you and your husband. To capture the experience on film and then share it is pure joy. Thank you dear one, XXXX Virginia

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    • Thank you, Virginia! It was a magical moment and I wanted to share the intimate moment we had with this tiny creature as we tried to help it on its journey. I still have not seen any in the last 2-3 days. Another cold front will be here during the night – down to the 60s and then down to the 40s by next week – cold for us! I shall take down the last feeder tomorrow. Warm hugs to you!


  3. I think you’re right that they’ve moved on now. How wonderful that you were blessed with this extraordinary experience at the end of their season with us. I find as I get old my empathy for other creatures is increasing. I suspect most of us change in that way — if only we could find some way to increase the empathy felt for other people!

    The monarchs were thick here for a while, but there are only a few stragglers now. With the front that’s headed our way (and yours) they’ll move south quickly. And I was tickled to see your reference to the white pelicans. I saw two large groups circling over head a couple of weeks ago, but they were heading southwest — your way! It’s a little early for our resident flock, I think. We’re in that in-between period where those heading south have left, and the ones coming in from the north aren’t quite here, yet. After this weekend and next week, I’ll bet they will be.

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    • When I had butterfly plants (don’t remember the proper name) in the back yard we had several. I got rid of all plants in the ground and only have them in pots on the patio. Downsizing yard work as I get older and hopefully more empathy for creatures and people!

      I love seeing the white pelicans circling overhead as they decide which place to land. I hope this group stays in our area. The brown ones are abundant in the area and sometimes swoop really close to cars on the causeway. The white ones don’t do that.

      The cold front and rain arrived during the night so I will take the last feeder down. It is always nice to hear what is going on up the coast a bit. Son lives in Houston so we get up that way now and then.

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  4. Friends of mine has a home with a hummingbird feeder. They’re in Wisconsin and remove the feeder every winter. One year they decided to put the feeder in another spot. When they did their hummingbird kept looking for it in the same spot as before. Smarter than I knew.

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  5. It is so wonderful you helped this one survive. It could be that he had some sort of accident and was in shock. Sweet little things! I know that the birds have a very important biological purpose, but they are also the beautiful adornments of this planet.

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    • You are probably right. We have seen them fly into a living room window and daze themselves before flying away. Ours are fairly plain compared to others more colorful but they are fun to watch and provide entertainment as they jockey for the feeders. Thanks for the visit!

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    • I had never seen one fluffed like that either. It was almost like a chickadee – that I have only seen in photos. Another cool front hit last night so I am sure we will not see any hummers until next year. Stay warm where you are!


  6. Yours are more plain? Probably you’re seeing the females, which are a bit less gaudy than the males. We have black chins, and a couple of females who’ve been around at least five years (in the summer); the males show occasionally through the summer. In early October we got a rufous male — those things are incredibly territorial, and things were very exciting for a couple of days.

    Three years ago they stuck around to the end of November (IIRC); it was a warm year. Last year, when it was a bit colder, they left in early October — late enough to avoid all the storms, but early enough to avoid the cold. Same this year. I hope.

    My concern this year is the cedar waxwings. For the past decade or so we’ve had groups of them migrating south starting in late September or early October, and continuing to January. Then in February, they come through going north.

    Nary a waxwing yet this year. Not one. I fear they got hammered in some storm or other.

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    • You are probably right about the drab females. The ruby-throated seem to be the most defensive about whatever feeder they have staked out. In past years we have seen a few buff bellied hummingbirds which are a little larger, but they haven’t been around lately.

      The cedar waxwings are beautiful (I had to look them up) but I don’t think we have ever seen them here. If we did, it was just one. It is easy to worry about these various visitors if they don’t show up on time.

      Thanks for taking time to share with your comments!


  7. I am so glad the outcome was positive. So often we try to rescue wild species and fail. Sometimes the gap between us is wider than we have imagined, and other times ZAP! the connection is made.
    It’s the caring that makes us human.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We were happy with the outcome as we did not know how to take care an ailing hummer! The brief connection was rare but rewarding. You are right, sometimes we try to help and mean well, but we fail to truly help. Thanks for the visit to my world!

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  8. I hope you enjoyed a fabulous Christmas Jo.. Sending Love and Well wishes for a Peaceful Joyous, Happy and Healthy New Year…
    May you continue to be blessed in all you do.. And thank you so much for all of your kind support.. ❤
    Love Sue ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. wow- you are like the bird whisperer…

    and loved this
    The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.
    wells aid


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