Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hummingbirds fly in the time of the Snow Moon

Not this month's full moon, this is actually last year's Harvest Moon, but I'm betting that tonight's moon will look much like this!

Tonight we welcome this month's full moon. According to the nomenclature of the Native Americans, this full moon will be the Snow Moon. It was so called because this is the time of year when the heaviest snows of the year often fall in the northern hemisphere. No snow for us though. Not this year.

It's been a strangely mild winter so far and there doesn't appear to be any really cold or wintry type weather in the offing. Instead, we have relatively warm days and somewhat cool nights. It's quite a contrast to our winters of the last couple of years.

It may be as a result of the mild winter that there have been so many reports of overwintering hummingbirds in our area. For several years now, there have been sporadic reports of Rufous Hummingbirds that spent the winter here. These hummers are built to take somewhat colder temperatures than some of the more tropical varieties, but this winter there have been reports of Ruby-throated, Allen's, and even a tiny Calliope that have chosen to spend this season in Southeast Texas. For the first time (at least to my knowledge), my own garden has been host to hummingbirds in winter! I've had at least two Rufous Hummingbirds in the yard.

Here, one of the birds sits on a budding fruit tree limb. 

Once I realized I had a hummingbird in residence, I filled one of my feeders and hung it outside. It didn't take her long to find it.

So, all in all, it's a very unusual winter that the Snow Moon will be shining down on tonight. The ground is saturated from recent rains, everything in the yard has "greened up" already, and there are hummingbirds here. An unusual winter but definitely a relief from our recent past.


  1. It was getting dark as I got home from work this evening and as I turned into our road I saw the full moon for the first time. It seemed very large and partially hidden behind a veil of thin cloud. Very beautiful. I'm so envious of your wintering hummers!

  2. It's been a real treat having the hummers around this winter, Jayne.