One kind-hearted man in Arizona took extra precautions to ensure that two friendly hummingbirds were provided with food during an inhospitable winter. His efforts resulted in a touching scene and a viral hit (video below).
Hummingbirds are beloved in Sedona, Arizona. Touted as one of the best destinations to see the diminutive birds in the country, the town even holds a Sedona Hummingbird Festival every July, according to Gateway to Sedona.
One local resident, Pat, formed a special bond with two Anna's hummingbirds who frequented the bird feeder he had placed in his backyard. The Sedona man even gave the male and female birds the movie-inspired names of Rocky and Adrian.
Their feeding routine became increasingly perilous when winter set in and the feed began freezing over as temperatures dipped below-zero, Shareably reports.
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Pat began accommodating his two friends by bringing his feeder indoors during the nighttime and returning it outside in the morning to keep the food from freezing. His method became fruitless when the unforgiving temperatures would freeze the feed in an hour's time.
In a stroke of ingenuity, Pat put the feeder on a heating pad to keep the food thawed. The next morning, he walked out to his backyard and found Rocky and Adrian comfortably resting on the heating pad, seeking warmth from the winter chill.
Pat had only intended for the heating pad to keep the feed from freezing, but he had inadvertently given the two hummingbirds a cozy spot to warm themselves. When the water in the feed froze over, both Rocky and Adrian waited patiently as Pat thawed the block of ice with a blow dryer.
The good Samaritan uploaded a montage documenting his efforts on YouTube, with the heartwarming video garnering more than 1.5 million views.
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The National Audubon Society, the leading bird conservation organization, recommends that anyone with Anna's hummingbirds nesting nearby should feed them during the winter because the birds have adapted to rely on feeders, according to the Statesman Journal.
Anyone who wants to provide hummingbirds with fresh feed during frozen temperatures can try Pat's original method of rotating their feeders indoors and outdoors, placing a dome over their feeder to shield it from snow, or wrap the feeder in hand warmers, according to the Hummingbird Market.
They could also clamp a work light near the feeder to cast heat on its surface, or wrap it in holiday lights to both keep it in a warm embrace and keep up with festive appearances.