Yesterday evening Lyn noticed that a hummingbird, contrary to normal behavior, had been perched on the feeder for a long time. Its beak wasn't poking into the feeder but was aimed into the sky. Its feathers weren't sleek but puffy. It perched there into the night. This morning the little bird was hanging down from the feeder, holding on with a single foot. I eased it off the feeder, sure it must be dead. It was still alive.
Is it an old bird, at the end of its life? Hummingbirds conserve energy, especially on cold nights, by entering a state of torpor, our friend Donna tells us. It was a very warm evening. Mistaken torpor?
addendum: the little bird died several hours after i helped it down from where it was hanging. lyn tried to feed it sugar water from an eye dropper and it tried to respond. but then whatever was troubling it was too much and that was the end.
such a sad sight, that hanging on with one foot—for dear life.