When To Put Out A Hummingbird Feeder

When To Put Out A Hummingbird Feeder

Are you a rookie hummingbird watcher looking to learn when to put out a hummingbird feeder?

Great! You’re in the right place

Hummingbird season is one of the best times of year for backyard bird watchers.

During spring and summer, the Hummingbirds will fly North over the USA to their breeding grounds.

Fill your feeders with this delicious homemade sugar water and you’ll get hours of fun and joy watching the majestic hummingbirds.

When to put out hummingbird feeders – Why it’s important

1. Attract Them

If you don’t hang your feeders out at the right time, they won’t find your feeder and continue to come back every day.

Having your feeder out at the right time encourages hummingbirds to nest near your yard. That way they don’t need to travel too far for food every day. This saves precious energy for them and is vital for their survival.

2. Repeat customers

Once a hummingbird finds your feeder they will come back day after day.

But even better than that? They’ll remember your feeding spot year after year.

That means if you have your feeder out the hummingbirds that visit this year will return next year.

If you don’t have your feeder out ready for their return, they won’t hang around and will quickly move on to a more reliable source. Be mindful of bully hummingbirds at your feeders who will chase away other hummingbirds.

3. Survival

The winter months can impact when the flowers bloom in spring.

That means that the hummingbirds may arrive before there is a good supply of nectar in your area.

When you hang your hummingbird feeders early, they’ll arrive at a rich food source. That means the hummingbirds won’t die off as an impact of the cold weather.

This guide will help you learn when to start hanging out your hummingbird feeders. We’ll talk about the right season, states, and how monitoring the weather will help you out.

Sound good? Then let’s go.

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When to put out a hummingbird feeder

As a general rule of thumb, you should hang out your hummingbird feeders 2 weeks before they are due to arrive for the season.

But hang on a minute. When do the hummingbirds arrive?

If you don’t know when the hummingbird season is, then how will you know what date will be 2 weeks before?

The secret is learning how to estimate when the hummingbirds will migrate to your area.

Sounds easy right? Well, there are a few factors that you’ll have to consider first.

Let’s take a look.

What affects the start of the Hummingbird Season?

Most hummingbirds are migratory birds. That means they’ll only pass through your area for a few months of the year.

There are times when hummingbirds simply won’t be in your local area. There is no point in wasting your time filling your feeders in the hope that they will arrive.

Knowing when they won’t be in your area will also let you know when to take your hummingbird feeders down.

To work out when hummingbird season will start the following factors play a big part.

Location

The state you live in will impact when and how often you’ll see the hummingbirds in your yard.

Southern and coastal states will have some hummingbird species all year round.

The more northern your state is, the later the hummingbirds will arrive.

As a general rule of thumb, most hummingbirds will have arrived by March-May.

 Keep reading for a more accurate recommendation on when to expect hummingbird season in your state.

Climate

There are hundreds of hummingbird species that like a variety of climates.

The change of season from winter to spring causes temperatures to rise. This is a good indication that the hummingbirds will be on their way.

Hotter climates will see an early spring, which will slowly move to the cooler climates.

So if you live in a cooler northern state, you’ll see the hummingbirds much later than in a hot southern state.

Food availability

The thing that all hummingbirds have in common is that wherever they go there are plenty of flowers and bugs. The flowers provide them with the energy to catch the insects.

As flowers start to bloom in the spring, the hummingbirds will follow.

They will then keep moving higher north as more flowers bloom and a fresh, rich source of nectar and insects becomes available to them.

Migration patterns

Each hummingbird species has its own migration patterns. Hormones and increasing sunlight will dictate that pattern for each hummingbird species.

Some hummingbirds will visit south to north but avoid east or west coasts.

Other hummingbirds will only migrate to the most southern states and no further.

With that in mind, there may be some hummingbird species that just won’t ever migrate to your state.

Be realistic about what hummingbirds will arrive. Don’t expect to see a Buff-bellied Hummingbird in Minnesota. If you do it would be a very rare sighting.

Hummingbird Season Estimates

When To Put Out A Hummingbird Feeder by Month

Year-Round feeding

There are some hummingbirds that don’t migrate south for the winter.

That means if you live in certain states you’ll get the pleasure of feeding hummingbirds all year round.

Areas you can expect to feed hummingbirds all year round include:

  • Pacific coast
  • Southern Texas
  • Central Florida
  • Southern Florida
  • South-eastern Arizona

Check out my guide on feeding hummingbirds in the winter months.

Other Ways To Predict Hummingbird Season

Hummingbirds are usually very predictable with their arrival dates. It’s always a good idea to note down when they arrive each year so you can prepare for next year.

However, always be aware that Mother Nature can catch you out at times.

This means the season may start earlier or later than you expect.

To prevent this from happening keep a close eye on:

When to hang out your hummingbird feeder by state

These are estimates of when you should start to see hummingbirds arrive in your area.

The rule of thumb is to put your feeder out two weeks before this. If you start to see signs that the hummingbirds are coming earlier than these suggestions, get your feeders out as soon as you can.

Alabama (AL)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Alabama the second week in March to mid-April.

Put your hummingbird feeders out the last week in February.

Alaska (AK)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Alaska from the first week of April to early May.

Put your hummingbird feeders out the third week in March.

Arizona (AZ)

Hummingbirds stay year-round in south-eastern Arizona.

Migratory hummingbirds will start to arrive in Arizona the first week of March to early April.

Put your hummingbird feeders out the second week in February. Keep them up all year if you live in southeast Arizona.

Arkansas (AR)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Arkansas the third week of March to early April.

Put your hummingbird feeders out the first week in March.

California (CA)

Hummingbirds stay year-round in coastal California.

Migratory hummingbirds will start to arrive in California the second week of April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the last week in March. Keep them up all year if you live on the coast.

Colorado (CO)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Colorado the second week in April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the last week in March.

Connecticut (CT)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Connecticut from the last week of April to early May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in April.

Delaware (DE)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Delaware the third week of April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the first week in April.

Florida (FL)

Native Hummingbirds stay year-round in central and southern Florida.

Migratory hummingbirds will start to arrive in Arizona the first week of March.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in February. Keep them up all year if you live in the south or central areas.

Georgia (GA)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Georgia the third week of March to early April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the first week in March.

Hawaii (HI)

Hummingbirds are not native to Hawaii so unfortunately, they don’t migrate near Hawaii. They are also banned by state law and it is illegal for hummingbirds to be in Hawaii.

Don’t offer a hummingbird feeder in your yard if you live in Hawaii.

Idaho (ID)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Idaho in the last week of April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in April.

Illinois (IL)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Illinois from the last week of April to early May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in April.

Indiana (IN)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Indiana the first week of April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in March.

Iowa (IA)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Iowa from the last week of April to early May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in April.

Kansas (KS)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Kansas the second week of April to early May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the last week in March.

Kentucky (KY)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Kentucky the second week of March to early April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the last week in February.

Louisiana (LA)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Louisiana the first week of March to early April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in February.

Maine (ME)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Maine from the last week of April to early May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in April.

Maryland (MD)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Maryland in the third week of March to early April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the first week in March.

Massachusetts (MA)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Massachusetts the last week of April to early May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in April.

Michigan (MI)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Michigan the first week of May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in April.

Minnesota (MN)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Minnesota the first week of May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in April.

Mississippi (MS)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Mississippi from the third week of March to early April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the first week in March.

Missouri (MO)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Missouri the third week of March to early April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the first week in March.

When to put out your hummingbird feeders infographic

Montana (MT)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Montana from the last week of April to early May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in April.

Nebraska (NE)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Nebraska in the last week of April to early May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in April.

Nevada (NV)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Nevada the first week of May

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in April.

New Hampshire (NH)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in New Hampshire the first week of May

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in April.

New Jersey (NJ)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in New Jersey from the last week of April to early May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in April.

New Mexico (NM)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Louisiana the first week of April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in March.

New York (NY)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in New York from the last week of April to early May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in April.

North Carolina (NC)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in North Carolina from the third week of March to early April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the first week in March.

North Dakota (ND)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in North Dakota in the second week of May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the last week in April.

Ohio (OH)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Ohio from the last week of April to early May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in April.

Oklahoma (OK)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Oklahoma the first week of April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in March.

Oregon (OR)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Oregon the second week in March to mid-April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the last week in February.

Pennsylvania (PA)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Pennsylvania from the first week of April to early May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the third week in March.

Rhode Island (RI)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Rhode Island in the third week of April to early May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the first week in April.

South Carolina (SC)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in South Carolina the third week of March to early April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the first week in March.

South Dakota (SD)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in South Dakota in the first week of May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the third week in April.

Tennessee (TN)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Tennessee the first week of April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in March.

Texas (TX)

Hummingbirds stay year-round in southern Texas.

Migratory hummingbirds will start to arrive in Texas the first week of March to early April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in February. Keep them up all year if you live in South Texas.

Utah (UT)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Utah the last week of March to early April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in March.

Vermont (VT)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Vermont the first week of May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in April.

Virginia (VA)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Virginia the first week of April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the second week in March.

Washington (WA)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Washington the second week in March to mid-April.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the last week in February.

West Virginia (WV)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in West Virginia in the third week of April to early May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the first week in April.

Wisconsin (WI)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Wisconsin the first week of May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the third week in April.

Wyoming (WY)

Hummingbirds will start to arrive in Wyoming the first week of May.

Put Your Hummingbird feeders out the third week in April.

When should you put out hummingbird feeders?

The takeaway from this guide should be the earlier you put your hummingbird feeders out the better.

Never wait until you see the hummingbirds to put your feeders out.

The aim is for the hummingbirds to arrive at a full feeder. Not to catch the few stragglers who have arrived slightly later.

Remember the hummingbirds that fed at your feeder before will simply move on if your feeders are not ready to go.

If you have any more questions or feedback let me know in the comment below.

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