When Do Hummingbirds Arrive In & Leave South Carolina?

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As the weather begins to warm up, South Carolina residents and birdwatchers alike eagerly await the annual hummingbird migration.

While their migration patterns are still being studied, we know that they typically arrive in late April or early May. Hummingbirds tend to stay through late September or early October, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy these fascinating creatures!

Keep an eye out for them while gardening in your yard or traveling around the state this season. And who knows? You may even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a Ruby-throated hummingbird.

When Do Hummingbirds Arrive in South Carolina?

According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, hummingbirds typically begin arriving in the state in mid-March to early April. However, there is some variation from year to year, and it is not unusual for them to arrive as early as February or as late as May.

It also depends on the specific species of hummingbird. Some, like the Ruby-throated hummingbird, migrate south in the fall and spend the winter in Central America before returning north in the spring. Others, like the Rufous hummingbird, take a more circuitous route, migrating along the Pacific Coast before heading south through Mexico and Central America to reach their wintering grounds. 

when do hummingbirds arrive in and leave south carolina

What Month Do Hummingbirds Leave South Carolina?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the hummingbird species and the weather conditions in South Carolina. In general, most hummingbirds will begin their migration in late August or early September. However, if the weather is still warm, some hummingbirds may linger until October.

Weather conditions can affect the timeline for hummingbirds’ migration. The unpredictable weather events of a South Carolina fall can delay migration, causing hummingbirds to stay a little bit longer until conditions suit their journey.

Where Do Hummingbirds From South Carolina Migrate Too?

Each year, millions of hummingbirds migrate to and from their breeding grounds in North and South America.

While the details of their annual journey are still largely a mystery, scientists have been able to track the whereabouts of these tiny birds by tagging them with GPS devices.

After observation, they discovered that most hummingbirds from South Carolina travel south to Florida or the Bahamas for the winter months. From there, some birds continue on to Central America or even as far as Cuba or Haiti. Meanwhile, other hummingbirds head west towards Louisiana or Texas.

The researchers also found that some birds remain in South Carolina year-round, although it is not clear why they do not migrate like their counterparts.

The findings of this study provide valuable insight into the migration of hummingbirds. By better understanding where these birds go and why we can help to protect them as they travel to and from their breeding grounds each year.

Do Hummingbirds Stay All Year In South Carolina?

It’s important to note that not all hummingbirds migrate south for the winter. Some Ruby-throated hummingbirds have been recorded to stay in South Carolina year-round.

This usually occurs when the winter temperatures are mild or do not drop sharply enough to incite migration. Often the birds that winter here over the cold months are elderly, injured, or ill.

Hummingbird Feeder Advice For South Carolina

Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking about your hummingbird feeder! If you live in South Carolina, you’ll want to put your feeder out in early April. Hummingbirds begin migrating north from Central and South America around this time of year, and they’ll appreciate having a meal waiting for them when they arrive. You can leave your feeder up until mid-October, when most hummingbirds will have already made their way back south for the winter. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy the beauty of these amazing creatures all summer long.

Use your intuition when deciding when to take down your feeding. If October comes to an end and hummingbirds are still visiting your garden, leave the feeder up!

A great rule of thumb is to wait two weeks after seeing the last hummingbird before taking the feeder down.

If you have a spontaneous visitor over fall or winter, then putting out your feeder is a great idea.

How Do You Attract Hummingbirds In South Carolina?

South Carolina is a great place to see hummingbirds. These tiny birds are native to the Americas and are attracted to areas with plenty of flowers.

To attract hummingbirds to your yard, you’ll need to provide them with a reliable food source. Hummingbirds feed on nectar, so planting flowers that produce lots of nectar is a good way to attract them. Red flowers are especially attractive to hummingbirds, so try planting red impatiens, geraniums, or petunias.

Many South Carolina natives attract hummingbirds. In fact, South Carolina University has found some plants have coevolved alongside hummingbirds, who are precious pollinators of many plant species.

You can also set out a hummingbird feeder filled with sugar water. Be sure to clean the feeder regularly and keep the sugar water fresh to prevent mold or bacteria from forming.

Are Hummingbirds Common in South Carolina?

In terms of their range, hummingbirds are found throughout North and South America. In the United States, they are most common in the western states.

However, there are a few species of hummingbird that can be found in South Carolina. The most common is the Ruby-throated hummingbird, which is found in wooded areas near streams and lakes.

If you’re lucky, you may also spot a migrating Rufous hummingbird passing through South Carolina in the spring or fall.

So, while they’re not as common as other birds in South Carolina, there’s still a chance you might see a hummingbird if you keep your eyes peeled.

Final Thoughts

While we may not know everything about hummingbirds, one thing is for sure – they are truly amazing creatures. Now that you know all about their journey to and from South Carolina, you can enjoy their beauty all season long.

Be sure to put out your feeder in early April and take it down in mid-October, and don’t forget to plant native flowers to attract them to your yard. With a little bit of planning, you can enjoy these stunning birds all summer long.

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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.