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When Should You Put Away Your Hummingbird Feeder?

A Hummingbird sits on a feeder as the snow falls around it.
SNC Art and More/Shutterstock.com

As the seasons change and temperatures drop, many hummingbird watchers start wondering when to take their hummingbird feeders down. You don’t want to leave hummingbird food up too long or remove it too early, but when is the nectar-removing sweet spot?

There’s not an exact perfect date for removing a hummingbird feeder. The best time to take down hummingbird feeders largely depends on your location and the migration patterns of the birds in your area.

Hummingbirds are remarkable migratory creatures. In regions where winter temperatures become too harsh, these tiny birds embark on their long journeys to find more suitable habitats. However, different species of hummingbirds often follow different migration patterns.

The key is paying attention to the hummingbirds in your area and removing your hummingbird feeder well after your small garden guests have left.

LUJII Ice Cream Shaped Spiral Hummingbird Feeder

This ice-cream-shaped feeder is an adorable and beautiful addition to your yard.

If you’re a garden enthusiast feeding hummingbirds, then you may notice them reduce in numbers as the weather gets colder. It’s a good idea to leave your hummingbird feeder out and full a good two weeks after your last hummingbird sighting.

This might mean leaving your hummingbird feeder up well into November—or even later if you live in warmer climates and have some late migrators. These late migrators will enjoy the nectar if you keep it available, and it can provide the sustenance they need for their journey.

If you’re worried about your hummingbird feeder keeping hummingbirds nearby and distracting them from their migration process, don’t worry. There’s an old myth suggesting that hummingbirds won’t migrate if you keep nectar out for them, but it simply isn’t true.

Hummingbirds will proceed through their migration process whether you leave your hummingbird food out or not. Feel free to keep your feeder up as long as there are a few stragglers enjoying it.

BOLITE Hummingbird Feeder

Decorate your garden with stunning hummingbird feeders so you can enjoy the sight of them as well as your garden guests.

If you’re looking for more ways to support your local hummingbirds, consider planting late-blooming flowers around your garden. This can provide some variety as well as a natural nectar source as they pass through.

If you’re uncertain about when hummingbirds typically leave your region, consider joining local birding groups or consulting with birdwatching experts. They can provide valuable insights into the migration patterns of hummingbirds in your area so you’re prepared for what they need.

When you take down your hummingbird feeder for the year, make sure to give it a good clean. Cleaning your hummingbird feeder throughout the season (and at the end of the season) is the best way to remove contaminants, mold, and bacteria.

Hummingbirds are mesmerizing creatures that any garden enthusiast loves to have in their home garden, but keep in mind that they can be sensitive and need plenty of food as they travel. Providing them with good nectar sources in your hummingbird feeders can help keep them nourished and healthy.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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