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.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Where are the hummingbirds?

We had a lot of hummingbirds and now there are none and the sugar water went cloudy. What happened? I've cleaned the feeder and still no hummingbirds.

Hummingbirds hit the feeders hard in early spring when they first arrive. Then nesting territories are established and the increased availability bugs and blooms helps the birds forage naturally. There is always a dip in activity during June.

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. Keep your feeder clean and filled with fresh nectar so when they do come back to investigate they get a happy meal. I recommend changing the nectar at least twice a week when the weather is above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

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 late August and by mid-October 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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