When Should I Take Down My Hummingbird Feeder?

When Should I Take Down My Hummingbird Feeder?

This is a question that has 2 very different and distinct answers:

  1. Take the feeders down by mid-September
  2. Leave the feeders up until 2 weeks after you have seen the last hummer in the Fall.

Which is right? That is for you to decide for yourself, but here is the thinking behind each one.

Take the feeders down by mid-September so the hummers will leave on their migration and not stay too long because there is still an adequate food source. 

This theory is based around the birds leaving due to a dwindling food source. When the summer flowers begin to wane and there is less nectar for them to eat it triggers them to start their migration. 

If feeders are left out, this continues to give them a food source that they will rely on too long resulting in a late start to migration or worse yet not migrating at all. Birds who stay don’t make it through the winter since there is no natural food source for them.

Leave the feeders up until 2 weeks after you have seen the last hummer in the Fall so migrating birds can stop and refuel on their migration.

Scientists say that the birds leave not because of a lack of food source but because of their internal biological calendar. The shortening length of daylight in autumn triggers the hormones that cause hummingbirds to migrate. The birds become restless and the urge to migrate becomes too strong to ignore.

By leaving out feeders through September it gives them “refueling stops” on the way south.What to do? That depends upon who you talk to and what makes the most sense to you. Weigh in on your perspective, send us your thoughts by replying to the email.

Hummingbirds are back! Tips & Tricks to take care of your special visitors!

Hummingbirds are back! Tips & Tricks to take care of your special visitors!

Every year they arrive in areas all over the Lone Star State. Hummingbirds, on their way from their wintertime stay in Mexico to breeding grounds across the United States, pass hummerthrough Texas every spring and then return south in the fall. Texas offers a chance to spot more than a dozen hummingbird species, you just have to know when and where to look!

Most hummingbirds arrive in Texas between mid-March and early May, and these spring months offer great opportunities to spot hummingbirds across the state! Many hummingbirds stay in Texas to nest during summer, while others continue to areas farther north. The southward migration that takes place in August to September offers some of the best opportunities to see these birds as they return to their winter homes in great numbers. Only a handful of hummingbirds stay in Texas year-round, but an occasional winter sighting is possible.

ruby-throated-hummingbird-male.jpg.653x0_q80_crop-smartRuby-throated hummingbirds are the most commonly-seen in Texas along with the black-chinned hummingbird, both nesting in Texas before returning to Mexico.

Ready to see some of these beautiful, humming beauties in your yard this year?

  1. By far, the BEST way to see these little birds is by adding plants to your containers and beds that will attract and feed them! We have many hummingbird-friendly plants at our Garden Center!
  2. Hang a hummingbird feeder on your porch or on a nearby tree and fill with sugar water or hummingbird syrup – remember to empty out the old solution and replace with new, as leaving old liquid in their feeder can make them sick!
  3. Place a birdbath near the feeder for them to use as well.  
  4. Get them used to getting close to you and your family by wearing sunglasses (hummingbirds aren’t fans of our eyes) so use sunglasses and a handheld feeder to get close!

Got bullies? Add more feeders in a clump! If you have one male hummingbird that is dominating your feeder to the exclusion of all others, there are two ways to afford your other hummingbirds a drink.

  • One is to put up other feeders on opposite sides of your house, or out of sight of Mr. Bully. Of course, this may simply mean that you are setting up other fiefdoms for other male bullies.
  • Perhaps a better solution is to add two or three more feeders in the vicinity of the first feeder. This will attract multiple hummingbirds, which will quickly cure your bully of his territoriality. He will not be physically able to fight off all the other hummingbirds, so he will give up trying.

Still unsure or have questions on how to get started? Don’t worry! We have plenty of feeders and hummingbird-friendly plants at The Home & Garden Center. Follow these tips and get humming!