Consistently offering a source of nectar is the most effective way to attract hummingbirds to your backyard. But the key is in the timing. When should you put out the feeder?
There are several factors that affect the best time to start feeding hummingbirds in different areas. Understanding these key principles will guide you when to put out your hummingbird feeders so no nectar is wasted and no hummingbird goes away hungry.
When to put out hummingbird feeders?
As many hummingbirds are migratory birds, it’s vital to know when they are migrating and when it isn’t necessary to offer nectar when the birds aren’t around. The seasonal habits of hummingbirds vary in different areas.
In locations like coastal regions of the United States, Mexico, Carribean, and South America, hummingbirds are available year-round. In those areas, every day is a good time to put out your hummingbird nectar feeders.
For example, the Rio Grande Valley area of south Texas and along the southern Texas coast, southern and central Florida, and southeastern Arizona are also year-round hummingbird hotspots.
In other regions, the best time to put out hummingbird feeders depends on the season and local hummingbird populations. While the exact dates to put out hummingbird feeders can vary, these birds do tend to be reliable in their migration patterns and when they start visiting feeders.
Hummingbird migration by month
February to March: Hummingbird migration begins early in the southern United States. Areas in the deep south, including northern Florida and southern Georgia, can put out hummingbird feeders as soon as mid- to late February or very early March and expect to be visited by the first arriving migrants.
March to April: Early migrating hummingbirds that are heading to breeding grounds further north begin appearing in the central United States as early as mid- to late March and early April. Ruby-throated hummingbirds and rufous hummingbirds will appreciate feeders up early in these regions.
April to May: Hummingbirds begin to reach their northern ranges in late April or early May. It is best if all birders have their hummingbird feeders cleaned, refilled, and ready for thirsty guests no later than the first week of May.
May to June: In the furthest northern reaches of hummingbird ranges, the birds do not arrive until later in spring or very early summer. In the central Canadian range of the calliope hummingbird or the Alaskan territory of the rufous hummingbird, waiting until mid-May or very early June to put out hummingbird feeders isn’t necessarily too late. Birders should always be on the lookout for earlier arrivals, however, and get the feeders ready to serve them.
When to put out hummingbird feeders in specific states?
You may want to know exactly, in what month you should put out the feeders so you would not be late to the party. And it makes sense. Hummingbird symbolize love and brings love to them who spot them.
Everything is different between states and locations. So here are some examples based on where do you live and when you should put out hummingbird feeders.
When to put out feeders in Texas? Most hummingbirds arrive in Texas between mid-March and early May, and these spring months offer great opportunities to spot hummingbirds in parks and gardens across the state.
When to put out feeders in Ohio? Hummingbirds usually return to Ohio in April, sometimes earlier, depending on the weather, so have feeders cleaned and ready to go by the end of March.
When to put out feeders in Illinois? Ruby-throated hummingbirds usually arrive in central Illinois around May 1, so it is a good idea to have your feeders in place by mid-April.
When to put out feeders in Michigan? Michigan gardeners may hang hummingbird feeders in mid-April. The majority of migrating hummingbirds will have reached Michigan by May.
When to put out feeders in Missouri? The best time to put up hummingbird feeders in Missouri is around April 25, when rubythroats return to Missouri. If you start feeding when they arrive, there is less chance of them moving on.
When to put out feeders in Houston? A small percentage of hummingbirds will visit our Houston gardens throughout the summer and even stick around during winter. It’s a good idea to put out your hummingbird feeders by August 1st so you can be certain to attract them.
When to put out feeders in Indiana? Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Archilochus colubris – Native – Usually arrive in Indiana in April. Early ones may show up as early as the first week of April. They are usually gone by the end of September
When to put out feeders in Pennsylvania? In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, they arrive in May. Hang your feeder 5-10 days before their average arrival date so they will see your feeder
When to put out feeders in Virginia? Ruby-throated hummingbirds start arriving in Virginia in mid-April, so go ahead and put your feeders out then.
How do you get hummingbirds to come to your feeder?
Planting red or orange tubular flowers that attract hummingbirds may help them discover your feeder if you hang it nearby. Of course, make sure to change the nectar solution and clean the feeder regularly, even if you have not seen any hummingbirds.
Nectar feeders are one of the most common ways to attract hummingbirds to your yard and come in many different varieties. A wide range of styles are available, including glass bulbs, inverted tubes, and saucer dishes.
Encourage nesting in your yard. Hummingbird nests are often built near a ready supply of nectar and other food. Encourage hummingbirds to nest in your yard by providing them lots of their favorite options. They prefer small deciduous trees and dense shrubs to build nests and raise their family.
The most important feature of any good hummingbird feeder is the ability to clean it, however, as they need to be cleaned regularly to avoid bacteria, fungi, and other harmful organisms.
What time of day do hummingbirds come to feeders?
A hummingbird’s favorite time of day to visit a feeder and feed on your nectar is usually dawn and dusk, or early in the morning and late in the afternoon before sunset.
But even though those two times seem to be their favorite to eat, hummingbirds will be seen feeding at various times throughout the day.
I have seen mine occasionally after I get home from work at 5:30 and while I’m out watering, but the heaviest activity by one imparticular male is definitely dusk, between 8:30-8:50.
I sometimes check them through windows from 7 am through 8 am but never see them. Dusk has always been the best time for me to see more activity.