When Do I Take Down My Hummingbird Feeder?
A Wild Bird Scoop visitor asked, what time do I take down my feeder?
Patricia from Colliers, WV asked this question:
My neighbor tells me in early September, so that is when I do it, but sometimes my little Hummingbirds still come back, and I know they need this food for the flight to go where they go for the winter.
My little friends bring me peace, I have them coming back for the 3rd year, and I am sure its the same female and male and I spotted a little one with them.
So do they stay with the same mate year after year?
(I answered that question here.)
When to take down your hummingbird feeder?
I keep my feeder by my deck and I have a flower hanger close by. The female will sit for a few seconds and look at me and today the male did it.
They often play hide and seek. They come fast and buzz by me.
I love these little birds. My grandkids are amazed and they love these little wonders as much as me.
I know just where they go in the pine tree and my neighbor’s tree is close. I spot them watching me, I believe.
So any info about hummingbirds is appreciated. I do not have any pictures.
When Do I Take Down My Hummingbird Feeder?
In The Fall?
The Answer to When Do I Take Down My Hummingbird Feeder?
You should not take down your feeders to tell the Hummingbirds it is time to leave.
Birds are guided by many factors that signal them that it is time to go.
Ornithologists who study bird migration are still not exactly sure what the factors are that trigger migration, but they are fairly certain it has something to do with temperature, daylight changes, food supply changes and their natural internal clock.
One of these influences or a combination of more than just one is still not completely understood.
But whatever the triggers are, we should not interfere by trying to make them leave.
Keeping your feeders up and full, with fresh clean nectar, until you have not seen them at the feeder for 2-3 weeks, is the best practice for helping them.
Wild birds will migrate when it is time and having feeders full of fresh food will not keep them from leaving.
And you are right that they need the food you are providing to stock up for their long journey.
Just before they go they will visit feeders more often in an effort to build their energy reserves.
I have witnessed a lone male, Ruby-throated Hummingbird at a feeder every fifteen minutes for a couple of days before he disappeared.
All birds that migrate will fatten up for the journey for several days before they leave.
In doing this, they store the required fuel they need to make the trip south.
To Take Down Hummingbird Feeders?
So glad to find this!
I am so glad to know for sure not to take the hummingbird feeders down. I did once because someone said to do it and the poor things came back for days looking for their nectar feeders. So I finally
put them back up because I couldn’t stand to see the little darlings searching for their feeders anymore. They left a couple of weeks later and came back in the spring.
And my answer to Wendy:
Thank you Wendy for sharing your experience with us!
It is very important for the Hummingbirds to have lots of good fresh food right up until they leave.
And they are the best ones to decide when it’s time. They will not stay because your feeder is there.
They are compelled to go for other reasons. It could be the diminishing sunlight, magnetic pull from the poles changing as the earth tilts or cooler temperatures, even the scientists are not completely sure why.
Just enjoy them until they leave!
Your Hummingbird Feeder?
Please enjoy this selection of feeders and when you are done looking, there is more about when do I take down my Hummingbird feeder, further down this page.
Best Nectar Feeders & Accessories
Nectar Feeders With 1-5 Gold Star Ratings
Important Hummingbird Feeder Accessories
Your Hummingbirds will love these!
Just place them in your existing birdbath and plug them in.
They come with their own pump.
How Long Should You Leave Hummingbird Feeders Up in the Autumn?
It really does matter where you live. Only you can determine when the best time is for your area. As long as your feeder is well maintained it can stay up until the risk of freezing sets in.
I had an email from a man who lives on the west coast of Canada. He kept their Hummingbird feeder full all winter with a light bulb beside it under a pail because a Hummer did not leave. It was likely too old or
injured and could not make the flight.
Although, many Hummers have changed their migration habit and now stay all winter on the west coast of North America, in the northwestern United States, and in British Columbia, Canada.
I am considerably farther north than you are and our Hummingbirds stay until mid-September.
I will keep my feeders up until there is a risk of freezing which will not be until mid-November.
I do this in case there are some stray birds who are traveling late from farther north.
Just relax and enjoy your little visitors until they decide it is time to leave!
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