Keep Feeders Up for Late Migrating Fall Hummingbird

Each year, I remind fellow birders that leaving your hummingbird feeders up will not cause the birds not to migrate. Although they might fight like crazy over the feeder with other hummingbirds, they don’t like it enough to risk the freezing northern winters with no bugs for them to eat.

Psst—here’s how hummingbirds survive winter. With my annual reminder done, I thought I’d let you know why it’s important to not take hummingbird feeders down yet.

Late migrating fall hummingbirds can use the extra energy from a feeder as they move south. It’s important for these birds to have an easy source of food so they can quickly refuel after cold nights.

Although your summer resident hummers might be gone, there are still some to the north that will be coming through! If you take hummingbird feeders down too early, these birds will be lacking a source of food they need for the long journey ahead.

Rufous hummingbirds come east every year and you are more likely to see one at your feeders in October and November. This species is very hardy and can survive colder temperatures than ruby-throated hummingbirds.

Rare hummingbird species are more likely to show up late in the fall season. Birders have reported broad-billed hummingbirds and calliope hummingbirds. If you leave your feeder up, you might be the next birder to find an incredible rarity.



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