People lined up outside Wild Birds Unlimited Langley to purchase hummingbird feeder heaters and other supplies to keep the birds healthy during the winter season. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

People lined up outside Wild Birds Unlimited Langley to purchase hummingbird feeder heaters and other supplies to keep the birds healthy during the winter season. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

People lined up outside Langley bird feed store

Shop sold more than 140 feeder heaters in less than five hours

Staff at the local Wild Birds Unlimited had a super busy few days as people have been lining up to buy supplies for the birdies flying in and around Langley.

Staff at the store in the Willowbrook area of Langley dealt with more than 800 customers in two days alone, shared Jennifer Houssain, owner of the store.

“We are slammed with work right now,” said one of the workers at Wild Birds Unlimited.

While the store has a wide variety of products, the majority of the people were lined up to buy hummingbird feeder heaters.

Staff sold more than 140 hummingbird feeder heaters within five hours, Houssain noted.

Langley’s Debra and Brian Dean came home empty-handed.

“I did not expect that there would be a line-up but, it doesn’t surprise me,” said Debra, disappointed as the feeders they were after were sold out at all the stores they visited.

“I can’t do what my plan was. That is to get a heater and a second feeder,” added Debra, who now is considering bringing her only feeder inside the home after every couple of hours to defrost it.

Houssain noted the main manufacturer of the feeder heaters is out of stock, and the item might not hit the market again until mid-January.

UPCOMING: This year’s Langley bird count will take place Jan. 2

“Apparently the cold snap has made all the hummingbird people basically go crazy,” she added.

While feeder heaters are sold out and not expected to reach the shelves anytime soon, Houssain said people are welcome to check out other products for hungry birds in Langley.

While birds can fly anywhere at any time with nothing to bind them to any single location, winter weather can be a real survival test for the fine-feathered friends.

PAST STORY: Feed the birds this winter

For instance, since high-fat protein is crucial for the survival of many birds, Houssain emphasized that suet – a brick of beef fat and birdseed – could be one of the best solutions to help birds keep their protein and fat intake up.

Fat is something that birds tend to look for even in the wild, Houssain explained.

“Each morning that fat is gone… and then they have to regain it the next day,” she said.

For those true hummingbird friends, Houssain said there are a lot of other solutions to keep the feeder from freezing until they can get a heater.

Heat lamps and reptile lights can be a great way to keep the feeder safe and the nectar drinkable, she suggested.

As well, people can also put feeders on heating pads or cover them with heat tape to prevent the nectar from freezing.

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