Connecticut is a small state, but there are plenty of birds to see whether you live in a more urban or rural area. Hummingbirds are just one of the types of birds that you might encounter.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds typically arrive in Connecticut in the second half of April and in early May. Some will just be passing through the state. But some will breed and nest here before departing again towards the end of the summer, in September or early October. Other hummingbirds may also rarely be seen in the state through the hummingbird migration periods and occasionally even in winter.
Read on to learn more about when hummingbirds arrive in and leave Connecticut. And discover a little about how to attract and care for them on your Connecticut property.
What Hummingbirds are Seen in Connecticut?
The ruby-throated hummingbird is the only hummingbird that breeds and nests in the state. They can often be seen passing through on migration, but some will also stay in the state to lay eggs and rear young over the summer months.
Other hummingbirds are rarer but may also be seen in Connecticut. There are fairly regular sightings of Rufous hummingbirds deviating from their usual habits, and other western hummingbird species are also occasionally spotted in the state.
When Do Hummingbirds Arrive in Connecticut
Ruby-throated hummingbirds typically arrive in Connecticut from the middle to the end of April. They will be sorely in need of an energy boost upon their arrival after their long trip from their wintering grounds in Mexico or Central America, as far south as Panama.
Where you live in Connecticut will determine when you will see the first hummingbirds, and the conditions each year can alter the timing of the migration of hummingbirds slightly.
However, it is common to see the first hummingbirds arrive before the beginning of May, usually between the 20th and 28th of April.
Hummingbird males are the first migrants to arrive and establish their territories. The female ruby-throated hummingbirds will tend to come a week or two later.
Those birds that breed and nest in the state will typically all have arrived before the middle of May. And by June, when the breeding period typically begins, those that are migrating through the state will have passed on through and made their way to nesting sites further north.
Remember, the hummingbirds arriving in Connecticut will not all arrive simultaneously. These birds migrate as individuals, not in flocks.
So they will come independently, and their arrival can be spread out over time depending on their individual schedules and the routes they choose to take to reach the state.
Preparing for the Hummingbird Migration in Connecticut
Being prepared for the arrival of hummingbirds in Connecticut is not just about placing feeders in your garden. If you want to help protect and nurture these amazing birds, you can play a more critical role by ensuring that your garden is hummingbird-ready in other ways.
Of course, those who care about birds and other wildlife should always garden organically. Avoid using harmful pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers, and ensure that you manage your garden in sustainable ways.
You should also avoid placing obstacles like netting, which could cause entanglement and injury to our feathered friends. And keep a close eye on pets etc., to keep birds in your garden safe.
How to Attract Hummingbirds to a Connecticut Garden
Hummingbirds need food, water, shelter, and appropriate nesting sites. You can potentially provide them with all of these things in your own Connecticut backyard.
Start by working out which plants work well in your garden. Choosing native plants is always the best idea for a hummingbird-friendly garden.
It is crucial to choose the right plants for the right places and combine them to boost biodiversity and create ecologically functioning habitats in your space.
Some good plants for a hummingbird-friendly Connecticut garden include:
- Bee balm
- Blazing star
- Canada lily
- Cardinal flower
- Coral bells
- Trumpet honeysuckle
- Woodland phlox
But these are just some of the good plants for these pollinators. Remember to choose plenty of native trees, shrubs, climbers, and herbaceous plants to create a hummingbird habitat throughout your space. And incorporate water in your garden design to help them feel at home.
Food forests, edible landscaping with native plants, and polyculture planting schemes can help you obtain a good yield and green urban or rural environments while caring for hummingbirds and other wildlife in your area.
When Should I Put Out Hummingbird Feeders in Connecticut?
You should aim to have a hummingbird feeder, or ideally more than one, in place a week or two before you expect the first hummingbirds to arrive. So in Connecticut, this means that you should aim to have hummingbird feeders in place in early April.
Placing a hummingbird feeder early will ensure a reliable food source is available on your property, even for those birds that are early migrants, a little ahead of the curve.
Just remember that it is also important to make sure that the natural environment around your feeders is suitable for hummingbirds.
If you want to provide a meal for hummingbirds, it is best to focus first on natural sources and only consider feeders once appropriate habitat has first been created through garden planting.
When Do Hummingbirds Leave Connecticut?
Hummingbirds passing through Connecticut on spring migration may be gone within weeks. However, those that remain to breed will start to depart later in the summer.
The males that arrived first will also be the first to leave. Some depart almost immediately after their eggs hatch, while others may remain a little longer.
The females and their young will typically stay for a little longer still. They will tend to start to depart in September.
Through September and October, it is also possible that you will encounter hummingbirds making their way south on the fall hummingbird migration.
Typically, most hummingbirds migrating south for winter will have left by the end of October. However, some birds may be too old or unwell to make the trip.
So Connecticut gardeners and birdwatchers may still sometimes see hummingbirds after this time, and through the winter months.
When Should I Take Down Hummingbird Feeders in Connecticut?
Some people worry that leaving up a hummingbird feeder after the usual time for fall migration will prevent the hummingbirds from migrating as they should.
However, experts agree that food availability will not influence this. Birds that can migrate will usually do so even where there is great food availability in a particular location.
The best practice is to leave a hummingbird feeder in place for at least a couple of weeks after your last hummingbird sighting. In Connecticut, this typically means leaving a feeder up into early November.
As mentioned above, however, you may still see hummingbirds in Connecticut in winter. If you want to take care of these birds that could not migrate, you can leave your feeder in place.
Whether you live in a city, a sizeable built-up town, or a more rural part of the state, if you are lucky enough to have some outside space, you should make the most of it – both for your own needs and for the wildlife living in and passing through your area.