Florida’s ‘official’ hummingbird season extends from March through September. You will often be lucky enough to see these birds if you live or spend time in this state during this time. And you may even see hummingbirds throughout the year, especially if you live in the south, where some may overwinter.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds will typically arrive in Florida in February or early March. Some will pass through on their way north, while others will nest here during the breeding season. Those that migrate will fly back through again in late summer/ fall. In the southern areas of the state, hummingbirds may stay all winter. Other species of hummingbirds may also sometimes be seen here in winter.
This article will help you understand the habits of these birds in Florida and help you to help them and care for them correctly in your garden.
What Hummingbirds Are Seen in Florida?
The ruby-throated hummingbird is by far the most common species seen in the state. Its breeding range extends to the northern and central parts of the state. These may migrate, though they are also known to remain in the south of the state year-round.
The Black-chinned hummingbird, the rufous hummingbird, and very occasionally other hummingbird species like the broad-billed hummingbird, calliope hummingbird, and white-eared hummingbird are also sometimes seen in the state, though only very rarely.
When Do Hummingbirds Arrive in Florida?
Migrating ruby-throated hummingbirds will arrive in Florida from further south in late February or early March.
Some will only pass through on their way to breeding grounds further north across the eastern part of the United States and leave the state once more before the breeding season arrives. Others will remain to nest in Florida beginning in April.
Do all the Hummingbirds Arrive at the Same Time?
Though hummingbirds may travel varying distances, most migrating species will arrive simultaneously, though they travel as individuals and not in flocks, so they won’t arrive en mass.
Do Male and Female Hummingbirds Migrate Together?
Male ruby-throated hummingbirds typically arrive a little before the female of the species. They will typically arrive a week or two before the female ruby-throated hummingbirds and may move on more quickly.
Do Hummingbirds Arrive at the Same Time Each Year?
Though this can vary a little depending on the weather conditions and a few other factors from year to year, you can usually expect the two key migrations to occur during roughly the same periods each year.
How to Prepare for the Arrival of Hummingbirds in Florida
Those who wish to aid hummingbirds and attract them to their gardens can help these birds in various ways. It is a good idea to begin by creating diverse habitats of native plants, which ensure consistent food sources for resident birds and those that migrate through the state.
It is best to plant native species as these are best adapted to your environment. Native species are also best suited to the needs of the wildlife which lives in the state or passes through.
Good garden design can help make sure birds can cope with hot weather, humidity, and other issues throughout the year.
How Do I Attract Hummingbirds to a Florida Garden?
Hummingbird enthusiasts will know how appealing it can be to welcome feathered friends to their space.
Creating a hummingbird-friendly garden is about your plant choices and how you choose to combine those plants, the habitats you build, and the other features you include.
You should make sure that you provide plenty of nectary plants in your wildlife-friendly garden– especially during the main migration periods but also throughout the year.
You should also ensure that you plant to attract beneficial insects, which are a food source for hummingbirds, and provide other services like pollination and pest control to you as a gardener.
Some excellent native species of hummingbird-friendly plants to consider in Florida include tulip tree, standing cypress, two-wing silverbell, loblolly bay, flame azalea, swamp rose mallow, and scarlet rose mallow. Also, consider firebush, Carolina jessamin, coralbean, indigo bush, cross vine, trumpet vine, salvia, and spotted bee balm. However, there are many more native plants to consider.
When choosing plants for your garden, it is important to think about where you live in the state. Gardeners in northern or central Florida will find that they garden somewhat differently than those living further south or in the Florida Keys and may encounter different wildlife, including diverse bird species.
As well as preparing planting schemes, gardeners can also add hummingbird feeders to give birds a boost and ensure they have sufficient energy throughout the key seasons. Artificial feeders won’t replace natural food sources but can help as a supplemental addition to wild insects and nectar source options.
What Month Do You Put Out Hummingbird Feeders in Florida?
Many in Florida may choose to put out their hummingbird feeder with sugar solution in February and remove them in the fall after no longer seeing any hummingbirds for a couple of weeks.
However, in this southern state, it can be a good idea to leave feeders out year-round, to aid migrating species and the ruby-throated hummingbirds which may remain here year-round. Some hummingbirds are too old or injured to make the migratory flights, and you can help these year-round residents by meeting their needs on your property.
Where Do Hummingbirds Nest in Florida?
If you really want to make sure that your Florida garden is a haven for hummingbirds, then you might also think about creating suitable nesting sites by incorporating plenty of suitable trees and shrubs in your planting schemes.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds will tend to choose a nesting site where they were born.
But creating the perfect habitat may entice them to remain and breed on your property if you live in the central or northern part of the state, which is at the southern end of the breeding range for these birds.
Nesting hummingbirds will appreciate suitable locations for nesting sites and good nearby food sources for both adult and baby hummingbirds.
Where Do Florida Hummingbirds Go When They Leave Florida?
Hummingbirds may pass through Florida on their way north to nesting sites across Eastern North America during the spring migration. They will return to their southern wintering grounds during the late summer and fall. That might include south Florida, where some will remain year-round. But most make their way further south to Central America and South America where they will spend the winter months.