When Do Hummingbirds Arrive In & Leave Pennsylvania?

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Just like the arrival of spring, the return of hummingbirds is a sure sign that summer is on its way. Every year, these tiny birds make their way back to Pennsylvania from their winter homes in Central and South America, and they typically stick around until early fall. So when can you expect to see hummingbirds in your backyard? And when are they likely to head south again? Keep reading for all the details!

Hummingbird Migration in Pennsylvania

When Do Hummingbirds Arrive in Pennsylvania?

Around the end of April and beginning of May, Pennsylvania’s skies begin to fill with the graceful forms of hummingbirds. Northeastern PA notes that hummingbirds arrive when the first blue flowers appear on Vinca.

These tiny birds have journeyed hundreds, even thousands of miles from their winter homes in Central and South America to mate and raise their young in the more temperate climate of the United States.

The most common species of hummingbird seen in Pennsylvania is the Ruby-throated hummingbird, which gets its name from the brilliant red throat patch that males display during the breeding season.

While the reasons for migration are not fully understood, scientists believe that hummingbirds migrate to find an abundance of food sources and suitable nesting sites. In Pennsylvania, they are drawn to the state’s many flowers and shrubs, as well as the insects that live in and around them.

When Do Hummingbirds Arrive & Leave Pennsylvania

How Long Do Hummingbirds Stay In Pennsylvania?

Hummingbirds who spend the summer in Pennsylvania usually stay from April to October. The exact length varies as some will arrive early and others will leave late. Each hummingbird migrates on its own schedule and at its own speed, making exact arrival determinations tricky.

During their stay, these tiny birds can be seen flitting from flower to flower, searching for nectar. They are also attracted to hummingbird feeders, which provide a reliable food source during the summer months. While hummingbirds are often seen alone, they will occasionally congregate in small groups called a Charm.

Hummingbird gatherings usually occur when there is an abundance of food available, such as at a particularly rich nectar source or a well-stocked feeder. Hummingbirds can be found in various habitats throughout Pennsylvania, including woodlands, meadows, and gardens. However, they are most likely to be seen in areas with many flowers.

When Do Hummingbirds Leave Pennsylvania?

Every year, as the weather starts to cool off, Pennsylvania’s hummingbirds begin their journey south. In Pennsylvania, the migration typically begins in late September or early October. But breeding males may leave as early as August.

The birds will gather in small flocks and head south, occasionally stopping to rest and feed. They typically arrive at their wintering grounds in November or December. For Pennsylvania birdwatchers, the migration is a chance to catch a glimpse of these amazing creatures before they head south for the winter.

When Should I Put Out And Take Down My Hummingbird Feeders in Pennsylvania

Late October is the best time to take down your hummingbird feeders in Pennsylvania. By this time, most hummingbirds will have migrated south for the winter.

However, a few early stragglers may still be around, so it’s important to keep an eye out for them. If you see any hummingbirds after October, it’s best to leave your feeders up until they’re gone.

As for when to put out your feeders, that depends on when you start seeing hummingbirds in your area. In Pennsylvania, the earliest migrants typically arrive in early April. So, if you want to attract them as soon as possible, have your hummingbird feeder ready at the beginning of the month.

However, keep in mind that not all hummingbirds will be ready to migrate at the same time. Some may not arrive until May or even June.

No matter when you put out your feeders, be sure to clean them regularly and refill them with fresh nectar. This will help ensure that the birds have a reliable food source throughout their stay in Pennsylvania.

Hummingbird Friendly Garden in Pennsylvania

Pennslyvania Game Commission speculated that hummingbirds are migrating further north than they have historically, making them more vulnerable to severe weather events and food shortages. They suggest populating your garden with an abundance of native wildflowers to support the hummingbird populations.

If you’re looking to attract hummingbirds to your garden, you’ll want to plant a variety of flowers that are rich in nectar. Good choices include bee balm, columbine, impatiens, and lilies. You’ll also want to avoid using pesticides, as they can be harmful to these delicate creatures. 

In addition, providing a water source such as a birdbath or fountain can help to attract hummingbirds. For the best results, keep your garden clean and tidy so that these beautiful birds feel welcome. With a little effort, you can turn your garden into a hummingbird oasis!

Where Is The Best Place To See Hummingbirds In Pennsylvania?

While you might be able to see a hummingbird or two nearly anywhere in Pennsylvania, certain places offer the best chances for sightings.

One such place is Moraine State Park, located in northwestern Pennsylvania. The park is home to more than 15 different species of hummingbirds, making it a veritable Mecca for birdwatchers.

Another great spot for hummingbird watching is Ricketts Glen State Park, located in the northeastern part of the state. With its miles of hiking trails and scenic waterfalls, the park provides a perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse of one of these fantastic creatures in their natural habitat.

There is also Presque Isle State Park. This park is located on the shore of Lake Erie and is home to a variety of different bird species. Hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers that grow in the park, and they can often be seen flying from one bloom to the next. In addition, the park’s location on the lake provides a perfect opportunity to see these birds as they swoop down to drink from the water.

Finally, no discussion of hummingbird watching in Pennsylvania would be complete without mentioning Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. This sanctuary is located in the eastern part of the state and is home to a variety of different bird species, including several types of hummingbirds. The refuge offers a variety of various programs and events that provide opportunities to see these birds up close.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re looking to attract hummingbirds to your garden or hoping to catch a glimpse of them in the wild, Pennsylvania is a great place to do it. With its variety of habitats and its large population of these amazing creatures, the state provides ample opportunity for birdwatching.

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Sophie Herlihy

After an early start in the veterinary industry and as a conservation educator at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, Sophie has since been a successful Zookeeper and Conservationist, specializing in native New Zealand species. When she isn't bird watching in native forests or crawling through the underbrush at midnight searching for rare frog species, she can be found with her husband on their sheep and beef station, far from civilization.