When to Set Out Hummingbird Feeders?
Hummingbirds are small, quick-flying birds that primarily eat insects. To fuel their quick flight, however, they also sip nectar from flowers. Hummingbird feeders provide hummingbirds with sugar water much in the way that plants like trumpet flowers and honeysuckle do. Setting out hummingbird feeders at the right time ensures that you will see plenty of these birds.
Hummingbirds are migratory birds, and they start showing up in the spring months as they head north. Hummingbirds fly through different areas at different times, but it is a safe bet to put up your hummingbird feeders as soon as the weather warms up. According to Hummingbirds.net, hummingbirds are not a single group. Each species has its own migration patterns, but it is generally safe to say that the birds will not appear in your area until it has warmed up.
Some areas host hummingbirds that do not migrate. Their mild climate allows the birds to feed on nectar and insects throughout the year. Allen hummingbirds in southern California and Anna's hummingbirds on the Pacific Coast are nonmigratory. Other parts of the U.S., such as the Gulf Coast states, host migrant Rufous hummingbirds in the winter. If you live in these areas, keep your hummingbird feeders full all year-round for these birds.
While the hummingbird feeders that you put out are handy for the hummingbirds, they are not dependent on them. In a few cases, as with a late-season straggler migrating south, the feeder can help them on their way. But early in the season, the hummingbirds will find nectar elsewhere. Their migration pattern is designed to provide them with food as they travel north in the spring.
Hummingbird Feeder Removal
As the weather turns cooler, the hummingbirds start to head south again. Keep the feeders up as long as you see hummingbirds and then wait three weeks. Even if the weather is cold, waiting three weeks may allow you to feed some late-season stragglers that were blown off course. Clean the hummingbird feeder thoroughly before putting it away for the winter.