Friday, January 11, 2013

It's Going to Freeze Tonight

The official low for Tucson is forecast to be 24°F (-4.5°C) tonight. That means down here in the very level Rillito flats we'll be around 18°F (-7.75°C). So guess what I have to do.

Put the hummingbird feeders back out at least a half hour before sunrise. Our forecast high for tomorrow is only 43°F (6°C), about 20 below normal. We haven't had it this cold here since early Feburary, 2011, when it was about 5 degrees colder. Wish my garden the best. I have the Shroud of Turnip in place.


  1. I had no idea you had so many feeders Rich. Please elaborate on your feeding habit. What all is coming to these and how many?

  2. I started with just 2 feeders when I moved to this house 15 years ago. Then when I discovered the state's first record of Ruby-throated Hummingbird wintering here, I added a few more so she would have her own feeder and not be chased away by the more territorial Anna's. I've slowly added more, keeping most the feeders well spaced around the yard so the less belligerent individuals have a chance to feed. I keep the feeders full and clean as long as I'm home, and my landlords (who live in the front house) help out when I'm away on tour. I use a concentration of about 1 part white cane sugar to 3 1/2 parts water. I'm convinced the number of feeders is directly proportional to the number of birds in the yard. Presently I can estimate that there are about 12 Broad-billed Hummingbirds (six probably at any one time), and upwards of 30 or more Anna's. Once or twice a day a Costa's comes through, but never for long. For five winters I had a Violet-crowned, and one of those winters a second one set up a winter territory at the opposite end of the yard.