Friends of Kootenay Blog

Access stories and photos about the natural and human history of Kootenay National Park and Columbia Valley Includes highlights about the Friends of Kootenay National Park activities and programs.


Hummer Bummer

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Black-chinned Humming Bird feeding by Susie MacDonald

 Susie MacDonald sent another interesting photo taken this morning in Kimberley. She calls it a “Hummer Bummer”.I’m sure the hummingbirds along with locals were not expecting to wake up to snow.

For us we just put on a sweater or coat to meet the cold but for hummingbirds it is a different story. These birds can rapidly lose body heat to their surroundings because of their small size and the lack of insulating downy feathers that are typical for many other bird species. So to survive the cold temperatures particularly at night when they can’t forage they go into a torpor, a type of deep sleep. Researchers say hummingbirds cant keep up the energy demands by lowering their metabolic rate by as much as 95% which means a lot less energy is needed to survive the cold.