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DEAR JOAN: Early in the morning I noticed a hummingbird hanging upside down on our feeder. I was able to run some water over its beak and there was a slight movement, which indicated that it still must be alive.

I thought that perhaps it just got too cold and went into a protective mode for survival.

I placed it on branch of a plant, upright. After approximately 3 hours I went to check and as soon as I got near, the hummer flew away.

Al Bruzzone, Bay Area

DEAR AL: I don’t think overnight temperatures have reached the point where it would cause a hummingbird to freeze up like that, but I do think the bird had gone into what is called a state of torpor.

When hummingbirds sleep, they can enter a torpor state, shutting down a lot of their body so that they can save their energy. When they are like this, you can sometimes find them hanging upside down from feeding perches, their feet locked firmly around the post.

They can appear dead and often will not even respond if we touch them. Once they wake up, they fly away, back into their energetic lives.

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DEAR JOAN: For the last several months I have been getting what the skin doctor says are mite bites. We had an exterminator out, but he said there was nothing he could do because we didn’t catch any rats in his trap.

We have a bird feeder and wonder if rats come to it in the night and leave the mites, which our two dogs then bring into the house. Although we give them flea treatments, they have been scratching lately.

Could this be the source? Do we have …read more

Source:: East Bay – Lifestyle

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