When should I take down my hummingbird feeder?

Do you have this common question “When should I take down my hummingbird feeder”? Here is a dedicated article on this topic that helps you to understand when to stop feeding hummingbirds.

Let’s get started!

Myth!

Hummingbirds migration myth

There is a common myth among birders that “if they leave their feeders up at migration time then birds stick around and delay their migration.”

The simple answer is that it is not true. Hummingbirds migrate due to their internal biological calendar, innate and environmental cues. They start their embark south in search of warmer temperatures, insects and other food sources, and flowers.

Instead, Keeping your feeder is a good decision. The birds which are present in your local area all summer may have started their journey to the south. But, those who begin the journey from farther north may use your feeder for a quick pit stop on their way.

When should I take down my hummingbird feeder?

Do you still think that keeping feeder outside at migration time will cause the process to be delayed? I hope your answer is a big no.

It is a good decision to keep the feeders as long as hummingbirds visit the feeders instead. Offer nectar on your feeder at least two weeks after you see the last one. A straggler might come through and gather energy and fat for the long journey to the south.

Hummingbird season: When keeping off the feeders

The exact timing of the migration process varies by region and number of other factors. Here is a list of different states and when it is safe to take down the feeder.

StateCommon SpeciesStart MigrationTake Down The Feeder
AlabamaRufous, Ruby-throated and Black-chinnedEarly NovemberLate November
AlaskaRufousLate AugustMid-September
ArizonaSeveral SpeciesLate OctoberNever
ArkansasRuby-throatedMid-NovemberEarly December
CaliforniaAround 14 speciesLate SeptemberNever
ColoradoRufous, Broad-tailed, and Black-chinnedMid OctoberEarly November
ConnecticutRufous and Ruby-throatedEarly OctoberEarly November
DelawareRuby-throated and Rufous Late OctoberMid-November
FloridaRuby-throated ( Stay All year)Never
GeorgiaRufous and Ruby-throatedNever
HawaiiN/AN/AN/A
IdahoRufous, Calliope, Broad-tailed, and Black-chinnedLate SeptemberEarly November
IllinoisRuby-throatedLate OctoberMid-November
IndianaRuby-throatedLate OctoberMid-November
IowaRuby-throatedLate OctoberMid-November
KansasRuby-throated and RufousMid OctoberEarly November
KentuckyRufous and Ruby-throatedLate NovemberMid December
LouisianaSeveral SpeciesAround NovemberNever
MaineRuby-throatedLate OctoberMid-November
MarylandRufous and Ruby-throatedLate OctoberNever
MassachusettsRuby-throated Late NovemberMid December
MichiganRuby-throatedMid OctoberEarly November
MinnesotaRuby-throatedLate NovemberMid-November
MississippiRuby-throated and few othersLate DecemberNever
MissouriRuby-throatedLate NovemberMid December
MontanaRufous, Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, Calliope and Ruby-throatedLate SeptemberMid October
NebraskaRuby-throatedLate OctoberMid-November
NevadaBroad-tailed, Rufous, Black-chinned, and CalliopeMid-NovemberNever
New HampshireRuby-throatedMid OctoberEarly November
New JerseyRuby-throatedEarly NovemberLate November
New MexicoRufous, Broad-tailed, Black-chinned and CalliopeLate NovemberNever
New YorkRuby-throatedMid-NovemberEarly December
North CarolinaRuby-throatedMid-NovemberEarly December
North DakotaRuby-ThroatedEarly OctoberLate October
OhioRuby-throatedMid-NovemberEarly December
OklahomaRufous, Black-chinned and Ruby-throatedLate OctoberMid-November
OregonBlack-chinned, Rufous and CalliopeMid OctoberMid-November
PennsylvaniaRuby-throatedNovemberNever
Rhode IslandRuby-throatedEarly OctoberLate October
South CarolinaRuby-throated and RufousMid-NovemberEarly or Mid December
South DakotaRuby-throated, Broad-tailed and RufousMid OctoberEarly November
TennesseeRuby-throatedMid-NovemberEarly December
TexasRuby-throated, Lucifer and Black-chinnedNovember and DecemberNever
UtahRufous, Calliope, Black-chinned and Broad-tailedBetween October and December Mid-December or Never
VermontRuby-throatedLate OctoberMid-November
VirginiaRuby-throatedEarly DecemberLate December
WashingtonBlack-chinned, Calliope and RufousLate OctoberMid-November
West VirginiaRuby-throated and RufousLate OctoberMid-November
WisconsinRuby-throatedLate NovemberMid December
WyomingBlack-chinned, Calliope, Broad-tailed and RufousLate SeptemberMid October

Birds Who won’t migrate 

All of the North American hummingbird species tend to migrate south except a few. Anna’s hummingbirds are the most common species. But, Sometimes they make a short journey to search for food sources. If you are from California, Oregon, Washington and Vancouver Island, you will enjoy their beauty all years round.

Costa’s hummingbirds are common in Arizona and California who won’t migrate. Plus, Broad-billed and Buff-bellied are the most common non-migratory species in southwestern states, Louisiana and Mississippi.


Quick Question for you: Where do you live, and When do you remove feeders?

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