When to Put Out Hummingbird Feeders

If you are trying to attract hummingbirds to your garden, you need to know when to hang their feeders. There are about 12 different species of hummingbirds found in the Northern parts of the United States. Hummingbirds are migratory birds, and these 12 species have their own migratory patterns. So, if you are going to hang a hummingbird feeder, you need to know the migratory patterns of the species found in your state.

The best time to hang out your hummingbird feeder is about two weeks before they arrive. However, that is a rough estimate because no one can say when hummingbirds will choose to arrive. However, through the use of previous year’s records, one can make an educated guess. 

Why Do You Need To Know When To Hang Hummingbird Feeders

One of the common reasons to attract hummingbirds is to have them come to your yard and feed. After all, what is the point of making hummingbird food if they aren’t going to come and eat? If you are new to hanging out hummingbird feeders, you must get familiar with the migratory timings of hummers. 

Hummingbirds will spot your feeder as they fly past your yard on their migration route. This is why you should use brightly colored feeders in your yard. Despite being small, hummingbirds have one of the biggest brain-to-size ratios in the Avian world. Hummingbirds have an excellent memory and will return to your feeder every year if you know when to hang it. If you don’t hang your hummingbird feeder on time, they’ll fly past your garden and never come back. 

The migration patterns of hummingbirds cannot be exactly pinpointed. For example, there are times when they return before the nectar flower begins to bloom. However, if you know when to hang your hummingbird feeder, you will provide a constant source of nectar that isn’t weather-dependent for our little friends. 

How To Know When To Put Out Hummingbird Feeder Depending On State 

In this paragraph, we will list out some states in the United States with their estimated hummingbird arrival times. If you are living in any of the states that we will mention, you can use the information provided to have an idea of when the hummers will be arriving. However, hummingbirds may come earlier or later than the dates that will be given. 

  1. Alabama 

Alabama boasts about nine hummingbird species. Some species in Alabama includes; Ruby-throated hummingbird, rufous hummingbird, black-chinned hummingbird, calliope hummingbird, and others.

If you live in Alabama, hummingbirds will come to the feeders around late March to early April. So, target to hang out your hummingbird feeder two weeks before the end of March. 

  1. Alaska 

The most common species of hummingbird found in Alaska is the rufous hummingbird. Even though there have been reports of four other species found in some parts of Alaska, the rufous hummingbird is the most common. Rufous hummingbirds are commonly found in some parts of South East and South Central Alaska. 

The male rufous hummingbird is usually the first to arrive in Alaska. They arrive in late April to early May. The female rufous hummingbird comes a few weeks later. The best time to put out your hummingbird feeder if you stay in South East Alaska is about two weeks before the arrival of the male rufous hummingbird. 

  1. Arizona 

Arizona boasts of a high number of hummingbird species living in the state. If you stay in Arizona, you’re in luck because your state is home to hummingbird species such as rivoli hummingbird, blue-throated mountain gem, Lucifer hummingbird, ruby-throated hummingbird, and many more. 

Most of the species found in Arizona migrate into the state in April or May. So, anytime in April or May is a good time to hang out your hummingbird feeder. You can also leave your feeder hanging out all year long due to the huge number of species in Arizona. 

  1. California 

For our readers who don’t live in the United States, you should know that California is a very warm state. Unlike cold states like Alaska, California has a warm climate, which makes it a nice place for hummingbirds. There are about thirteen species of hummingbirds found in California. Some hummingbird species found in the state include the black-chinned hummingbird, calliope hummingbird, rufous hummingbird, and many more. 

The hummingbird species found in California will hang around all year because the state is a coastal state. So, if you want to see hummingbirds throughout the year, move to Southern California. You can start to hang out your feeder from the middle of March to early April. 

  1. Connecticut 

Common hummingbird species found in Connecticut include the ruby-throated hummingbird, rufous hummingbird, and calliope hummingbird. Calliopes and rufous hummingbirds have made their way through Connecticut every year. However, the species that is native to the small state of Connecticut is the beautiful ruby-throated hummingbird. 

If you live in Connecticut, you should start hanging out your feeders from late April to early May. 

  1. Colorado 

Colorado doesn’t boast a strong presence of different hummingbird species because there are less than four common species in the state. The rest are rare. The most common hummingbird species in Colorado are broad-tailed hummingbirds which are very well-suited for mountain life. Another common species found in Colorado is the black-chinned hummingbird. 

If you live in Colorado, you can start to put up your hummingbird feeder from mid-April through to mid-October. 

  1. Florida 

Florida is one of the states that does not have a uniform time for putting up hummingbird feeders. This means that in different parts of the state, people hang out at their feeders at various times. Through the summer, the panhandle parts of Florida will see very little hummingbird activity. However, areas of South Florida will have a larger amount of hummingbird activity in the winter. 

The north and central parts of Florida will see hummingbird activity from early March. The activities will go on from early March through to September. Some of the hummingbird species found in Florida include the rufous hummingbird, bahama woodstar, black-chinned hummingbird, and many more. There are about 11 types of hummingbirds in Florida. The most common of them is the ruby-throated hummingbird. 

  1. Idaho 

Idaho doesn’t have a lot of hummingbird species, but it boasts at least six. The six species found in Idaho are the black-chinned hummingbird, calliope hummingbird, rufous hummingbird, broad-tailed hummingbird, Anna’s hummingbird, and ruby-throated hummingbird. The last two aren’t very common. 

If you live in Idaho, you can hang out your feeder starting from the beginning of April to its middle. 

  1. Indiana 

The ruby-throated hummingbird migrates into Indiana starting from the middle of April to its ending. The two most common species in Indiana are the rufous hummingbird and the ruby-throated hummingbird. You may occasionally see Anna’s hummingbird, but it is very rare. 

Once it’s the middle of April, you can proceed to hang your sugar and water-filled hummingbird feeders. 

  1. Kentucky 

Again, the ruby-throated hummingbird takes the top spot as the most common hummingbird species in Kentucky. The black-chinned hummingbird and rufous make occasional appearances. But for the most part, the ruby-throated hummingbird is what you should expect. 

The beautiful ruby-throated hummingbirds start to arrive from early April to the middle. If you are lucky, you may catch some “early birds” from late March. Begin to hang out with your hummingbird feeders from the middle of April. 

How To Prepare The Hummingbird Feeder Before Hanging 

Now that you know when to hang out your hummingbird feeder, you need to know how to make your feeder hang-worthy. Below are some helpful tips. 

  1. Wash Your Feeder 

If you have used your hummingbird feeder during the previous migration season, you need to wash it before you hang it up. The hummingbird feeders contain a mixture of sugar and water, which are notorious for becoming sticky. A well-washed feeder is more attractive to hummingbirds because then the colors of your feeder will be bright. 

Wash your feeder using warm water and use a brush to scrub out the insides. Allow the feeder to air-dry before you hang it. Also, a well-washed feeder will help prevent your hummers from common diseases

  1. Ant Proof Your Feeder 

One of the major challenges you will encounter when you hang out your hummingbird feeder is ants. That is why you need to know how to keep ants away from your hummingbird feeder before you proceed to hang them out. 

You can ant-proof your hummingbird feeder by hanging it using a fishing line. Fishing lines are impossible for ants to climb. You can also ant-proof your feeder by hanging it directly above a water fountain. Ants have difficulty swimming in small bodies of water, let alone a fountain. 

  1. Prepare Homemade Nectar 

If you welcome guests, you might as well do it right. As you watch the seasons, preparing for the best time to hang out your hummingbird feeder, you should also prepare to entertain your incoming guests. Get some sugar and water and make homemade food for your hummer friends. 

The mixture of the water and sugar is one part table sugar and four parts water. Store any extra sugar you don’t use in a refrigerator. 

Essential Tips For Hummingbird Feeder Placement 

Don’t just hang out your hummingbird feeder where you like. There are ways to hang a feeder to attract hummingbirds and keep them coming back regularly. One of the most common questions we have encountered is, “Should I hang my feeder in the sun or shade”? The next paragraph will answer this question and give tips for hummingbird feeder placement. 

Tip 1

Hang your hummingbird bird feeder in a mildly shaded area. What we are simply saying is; strike a balance between shade and sun. Please don’t hang your feeder under direct sun, and don’t hang it under heavy shade. Hanging your hummingbird feeder under the direct sun is an invitation for bees to swarm your feeder. This is because bees are excellent navigators under direct sunlight. If you are encountering problems with bees on your hummingbird feeder, it is essential for you to learn how to keep bees away from your feeder.

Also, please don’t place your hummingbird feeder under a  heavy shade because it will make it harder for the hummers to hover, drink and go. 

Tip 2

Place your hummingbird feeder in a visible place. If you are going to show your guests that you are ready for them, then you must place their food where they can see it. Remember that we mentioned earlier that hummingbirds spot the feeders returning from their migration route. If they don’t see the feeders, they will fly on. 

Tip 3

Hummingbirds have a very high metabolism. This makes them want to conserve energy when they can. It would help if you placed their feeders about ten to fifteen feet from a tree shrub. This gives them a place to shade and stay out of the sun. 

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