Taking Down A Hummingbird Feeder, Keeping One As A Pet & Grafting An Apple

Question:

Should I store my Hummingbird feeder for the winter? If not, how do I go about protecting it from the cold? Also, could I capture one and keep it as a pet? 

Answer:

  • Hummingbirds are active during the winter months as long as they have a source of food. Hummingbirds have the highest energy expenditure of any warm-blooded animal.
  • A Hummingbird needs to intake more than its body weight in nectar each day, and that can be difficult during the winter.
    • With little to no flowers for nectar, a liquid feeder is there the only option. So, I wouldn’t be inclined to take it down. I’d also replace my Hummingbird food with Kaytee Hummingbird ElectroNectar.
    • Kaytee Hummingbird ElectroNectar is the first-ever, hydrating energy drink for Hummingbirds. This naturally clear nectar was developed to mimic flower nectar with added electrolytes and no added colors for overwintering hummingbirds
  •  On those nights when the temperature is going to dip below thirty-two degrees, you have two options.
    • You can bring the feeder inside at night and put it back out early in the morning. Hummingbirds need to start feeding early in the day after coming out of a torpor. The torpor stage is similar to hibernation, and it occurs when their metabolism slows down or when food is in short supply.
    • Your other option is to insulate the feeder by wrapping the bottle in bubble wrap.
  • Keeping a hummingbird as a pet is possible with the right size structure and food sources; however,  it is illegal to do so. In the United States, capturing a hummingbird violates the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. This law makes it illegal to possess or capture any migratory bird, including hummingbirds.
  • In addition to the prohibition of holding or capturing a hummingbird, the act also makes it illegal to keep a hummingbird nest, egg or baby. The penalties for breaking this law includes a steep fine.

Note:

Hummingbird facts from a variety of sources: A Hummingbird is capable of flapping their wings more than fifty times a second. They can fly in any direction at speeds of thirty miles per hour or more and have a heart rate of over twelve hundred beats per minute. Hummingbirds are capable of flapping their wings at a staggering rate of eighty times per second and lick their food at a rate of about thirteen licks per second. They do not use their feet for walking or jumping, but only for perching. Hummingbirds have a lifespan of about four years and grow to about eight inches in length and weigh less than an ounce.

Question:

 If an apple graft were successful, how soon would I get fruit? Also, does the fruitless portion of the tree have any impact on the graft?

Answer:

  • You’ll get fruit on a successful graft in one to two growing seasons. Your biggest concern is not allowing the fruitless portion of the tree to overgrow the new graft. Also, it will need to be braced when the fruit is maturing, so the weight doesn’t cause it to break off.