About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hummingbird feeding is most successful in late summer

We are near Saint Louis Missouri. We have had very few hummers this year. Are others seeing this also?

Hummingbirds hit the feeders hard on dry summers because there are fewer flowers blooming and lower bug counts. That means feeders are a welcome supplemental food source. This year's wet spring means more bugs and blooms and fewer hummingbirds at the feeders. Bad for birdwatchers, good for the birds.

But don’t give up on them! Hummingbird feeding is most successful in late summer and early fall. Territories have now relaxed since nesting is over. The babies are out with their mommas which means the highest number of hummingbirds are feeding right now.

Late July some hummers may begin fueling up to migrate south. Some people fear that feeding hummingbirds into the fall may delay their departure and expose them to freezing but there is no evidence that feeding slows their migration. In fact hummers that are born late in the season are vulnerable. Leaving your feeders up may provide a critical opportunity for these hummingbirds to build reserves and “catch up.”

September is typically the most satisfying month to feed hummingbirds. As the days shorten, ruby-throats begin to migrate south. This occurs in Michigan and Missouri in late August and by mid-October the they are usually gone. That's a good time to bring in the feeders and clean them for winter storage. 

Related Articles:
What is the nectar recipe for hummingbirds? http://goo.gl/MK3AU
Fun Facts about Ruby-throated Hummingbirds http://goo.gl/jcjcr
The Best Hummingbird Feeders http://bit.ly/L4yY3i
Why the color on a hummingbirds’ throat flashes http://bit.ly/JZ31qX
When did people start to feed hummingbirds?: http://bit.ly/o8Y8HR

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