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Our Winter Bird Highlights, summarizing the results from the 2022-23 season, is now online.


Photo Submission

Submitted By

Jason Wessell

Beaverton, OR, United States


Bird sits at feeder most of the day and is last to leave at night
Tongue protrudes from bill
Other birds leave it alone


Sick behavior

Sick Anna’s Hummingbird

9 replies on “Sick Anna’s Hummingbird”

Jill Berger says:

It appears that an Anna’s Hummingbird has the mentioned symptoms. Is there anything that could/should be done for it?

Hummingbird seems disoriented and have not seen any other hummingbirds today.

Anna’s hummingbird sits at feeder with entire body puffed up and noticably vibrating…what to do for him?

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Delores, If you see a sick bird at your feeders, the best thing is to take them down and clean them. We have more information on sick birds and how to clean your feeders here. If you are particularly worried about an individual, contact your local wildlife rehabilitator before acting – handling or treating native birds requires a federal permit.

Ava says:

If it is cold in your area then the hummer may be trying to keep warm.

Terra Grow says:

1) I had an Anna hummingbird with the same exact symptoms, and now he’s gone, think he must have passed. 2) I have two other hummers that visit, one has a (R) leg missing, and today I have another with (L) leg missing. What is going on? I’ll take the advice of cleaning all my feeders from the sick bird. I’ve taken videos & will email them to

Ava says:

Well, the missing legs are probably because they got attacked by something or got injured in some other way. I don’t think any sicknesses can cause them to lose their leg.

Linda Thalberg says:

My bird numbers have gone down dramatically this spring/summer. I have been feeding them for years and clean the feeders well. Makes me sick knowing something is amiss and I can’t figure it out! Mine look just like your fluffed out one. The feather coloring has even taken on brown splotches.

Heidi Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hello, Linda! Bird populations normally fluctuate from one season to the next and from one year to the next. Researchers have determined that the number of birds in North America has declined by nearly 30% in the last 50 years (read article from Autumn 2019 Living Bird), but for feeder birds, which are doing better overall than non-feeder birds, the declines have been gradual. If you are seeing a sudden, dramatic drop in bird numbers, most likely the cause is either local or seasonal. Although it’s impossible for us to know the cause of each specific increase and decline, there are several common causes for bird population fluctuations.

• The most common cause for a dramatic drop in all bird species at a feeder is the arrival of a predator, such as a hawk (often impossible to see) or a cat.

• Habitat changes frequently affect bird numbers. If there has been any change in your neighborhood–such as trees being cut down, new houses being built, or different crops being planted on nearby fields–that could be the reason you are seeing more or less birds.

• Natural food supplies–such as pinecones, berries, seeds, and insects–fluctuate from year to year, causing birds to shift ranges to take advantage of food surpluses or to compensate for food shortages.

• Weather fluctuations often cause birds to shift ranges, especially in winter.

To see what other participants are reporting in your region this year or to compare to past seasons, visit the Explore section of our web site and check the State Summaries.

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