Can efforts by human beings to provide warmth benefit other creatures? A news story from Sedona answers that question with a resounding “yes”! During the winter of 2011, frigid weather with subzero temperatures impacted many locations in February.
Although the unexpectedly cold temperatures in Sedona, Arizona upset some residents of the community, wildlife also felt the chill. Reportedly well over 2,000 hummingbirds reside for part of the year in the Arizona community. The high metabolism of these birds requires frequent feeding and they usually prefer warm or even tropical climates. Freezing weather would seriously disrupt the lifestyle of a hummingbird.
One man in Sedona who had been feeding hummingbirds at a feeder dispensing liquid food struggled to keep the contents from freezing during the cold weather. He placed the feeder on a heating pad in his open garage, reasoning that the constant heat would prevent the hummingbird’s food from changing into a solid form that could not pass through the narrow openings at the feeder. Much to his surprise, when he checked on the garage the next day, he discovered that two hummingbirds he called “Rocky” and “Adrian” had actually spent time perched atop the heating pad, relishing its warmth.
When he used a hair dryer to warm up the contents inside the feeder, one of the tiny, colorful birds remained nearby, welcoming the heat. His kindness to the birds helped them endure the unexpectedly chill conditions much better.