See a 'frozen' or upside down hummingbird during winter? It could be in a hibernation like state
PHOENIX - With overnight temperatures still pretty chilly in the Phoenix area, hummingbirds are feeling the impact and a wildlife expert explains their seemingly strange reaction to the cold.
"Can be a real surprise for people when they find hummingbirds seemingly frozen on the ground or in a tree," said Kathleen Scott with Liberty Wildlife.
You typically see hummingbirds quickly buzzing around, but when the temperature drops, so do their heart rates. It's called torpor.
"Torpor is almost like hibernation. At night, they conserve energy by like slowing down their heart rate, reducing their body temperature and so it's almost like a hibernation state and they will even hang upside down from trees or people even find them hanging upside down from the hummingbird feeders. They're not dead. They are simply just in this hibernation state," Scott explained.
It's completely normal and once the sun comes out, they warm up they become active again. She says this typically never happens during the summer months.
"If you find a hummingbird on the ground seemingly in torpor, doesn't appear to be injured from hitting a window, just seems like it's on the ground, it just means it might've fallen from wherever it went into torpor. So you know if you're concerned, you can always bring it to us but another thing to do is put it somewhere that's going to get those sun's rays and dappled sunlight and away from predators, and it'll just probably warm up and go on its merry way," Scott said.
If you do find a hummingbird that appears to be injured you can always take it to Liberty Wildlife.
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