Oregon is a great birdwatching state. Hummingbirds are one of many bird types that gardeners and those enjoying the region’s natural attractions can enjoy and welcome each year.
Hummingbirds migrate through Oregon to and from their nesting grounds to the north between late February/early March and June. Some also stay in the state through the summer to breed and nest before they migrate back south in the fall. And Anna’s hummingbirds may even remain year-round in certain parts of the state.
Taking note of when hummingbirds arrive in and leave Oregon can help you understand when to look out for them. It can also help you work out the steps you can take on your property to welcome and provide aid for these beautiful birds.
What Hummingbirds are Seen in Oregon?
The most common hummingbirds seen in Oregon are the Rufous hummingbird and Anna’s hummingbird.
The Allen’s hummingbird, Black-chinned hummingbird, and Calliope hummingbird also pass through or breed and nest in the state, though in smaller numbers, and are less frequently seen. Small summer breeding populations of these types are found in the southern and eastern parts of the state.
When Do Hummingbirds Arrive in Oregon?
Seasonal hummingbirds on the spring migration will begin to arrive in Oregon from late February/early March onwards. They will arrive first in the state’s south and make their way northwards. So if you live further north, you will have to wait just a little longer for the first hummingbirds of the season to arrive.
The exact timings of the spring hummingbird migration may alter slightly depending on the conditions of a given year. But generally, the broad shape of the spring migration and its timing remain approximately the same.
Typically, male hummingbirds will arrive first to establish their territory. Then the female hummingbirds will arrive – typically a week or two later.
Some of these hummingbirds will be making their way further north to their nesting sites in Washington and Canada. But others will remain at nesting sites in Oregon – typically close to or at the same location where they were born.
How to Prepare for the Arrival of Hummingbirds in Oregon
If you would like to entice hummingbirds to your Oregon garden, one thing is more important than any other: planting native plants. Plants provide nectar throughout the critical periods when hummingbirds are around and attract insects – another critical food source for these birds.
Creating a garden filled with native planting, with the richest, most diverse collection of plants possible, is the best thing you can do for hummingbirds and all the other wildlife sharing your space.
To keep the garden wildlife-friendly, it is also important to make sure that you always garden organically and never use any harmful pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers that may pose a risk to the birds and other creatures in your garden.
Some great plants to include in a hummingbird-friendly Oregon garden are Dogwood, crabapple, red-flowering currant, salmonberry, Columbine, Bleeding heart, Penstemon, Hedge-nettle, Clarkia, and orange honeysuckle.
You can combine these plants in various ways to attract hummingbirds and other beneficial wildlife to your space: in food forests, native hedgerows, rain gardens, and more. Including such eco-friendly habitats in your garden is a wonderful way to care for the natural world around you – and you’ll be rewarded with plenty of great birdwatching opportunities.
When Should I Put Out Hummingbird Feeders in Oregon?
The best way to meet the needs of hummingbirds in your garden is to create beneficial and biodiverse planting schemes. In addition, you can further aid hummingbirds passing through or staying in your area in summer by adding a hummingbird feeder.
Feeders in Oregon should be placed out in mid-February before the first of the migrating species arrive.
Where Do Hummingbirds Nest in Oregon?
It could be helpful to know where hummingbirds that do stay and breed in Oregon over the summer might nest to do as much as possible for them and understand the different species that you might see a little better.
Rufous hummingbirds are the most common hummingbird in the state. They breed from April to September throughout the western, central, and northeastern parts of Oregon. They typically nest in coniferous, broadleaf, or riparian forests, and mountain meadows and are found above the timberline right down to the coast.
Anna’s hummingbirds are year-round residents in western Oregon, and there are some breeding populations east of the Cascade mountains. They are found on chaparral-covered hills and canyons, areas of sparse forest, and residential and agricultural areas.
Allen’s hummingbirds breed from April to September along the coast and coastal slopes of mountains to the south of Coos County. They breed in areas of coastal scrub, riparian thickets, meadow edges, conifer forests, and suburban gardens.
Black-chinned hummingbirds breed in eastern Oregon from May through September. Nesting hummingbirds often build their nests in trees or shrubs over a creek or dry creek bed. It is not uncommon to see them in parks and small towns in the eastern part of the state.
Calliope hummingbirds breed from April to September in southwestern Oregon, on the east slopes of the Cascades, and in the northeastern portion of the state. They are commonly found nesting on river or meadow edges, in alder, willow, or aspen thickets.
When Do Hummingbirds Leave Oregon?
Rufous hummingbirds begin to leave Oregon in June, July or August. In June, they may still leave to continue north. But in summer, those who have bred in the state will begin to depart on their southward migration.
The males will leave first, and the females will typically leave by September if they are going to do so.
Anna’s hummingbirds may remain in Oregon year-round in areas west of the Cascades.
When to Take Down Hummingbird Feeders in Oregon
Hummingbird feeders may safely be removed in fall once you have not seen any hummingbirds for at least two weeks.
However, where Anna’s hummingbirds remain year-round, you could leave a feeder in place throughout the year.
Where Do Oregon Hummingbirds Go in Winter?
Those hummingbirds that leave the state before winter will spend the season in the south, often in Mexico or further to the south in Central or South America.
Often traveling thousands of miles to warmer climes, they will return to their nesting sites or where they were born in Oregon or elsewhere, often over several years. You can enjoy the spectacle of these amazing birds in your garden, and will likely see the same visitors return for many seasons.