How do I keep my feeder from freezing?

A 150-watt outdoor floodlamp, in a metal clamp hood and positioned 10 inches above and to the side of a feeder, will keep the feeder thawed in sub-freezing weather. (©HBSG)   If you live in a cold climate, the arrival of a western hummingbird probably coincides with the arrival of freezing weather. Hummingbird feeders can simply be brought in at night to prevent freezing, but since hummingbirds that have been in torpor overnight like to feed at the first hint of dawn, be sure to put the feeder out before daybreak.

 Another alternative, especially when daytime highs are below freezing, is to rig a heat lamp beside the feeder. The best approach is to use an PAR 38 (150-watt) outdoor floodlamp in an 8- or 10-inch aluminum utility lamp hood with a spring clamp. Position the lamp about 10 inches from the top of the feeder, aimed down at a 45-degree angle. Plug the lamp into an outdoor extension cord, running both plugs through the corners of a Ziploc bag, then taping it closed with duct tape to keep out water.

 You can also simply allow the feeder to freeze up when the temperature gets cold enough, and the hummingbird will shift to another area with a more dependable food supply.