We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Will Your Hummingbirds Come Back Next Year?

A hummingbird eating out of a feeder
T Goebel/Shutterstock.com

The season is changing, leaves are falling, and the air has that crisp, cool feeling of autumn. There may be another change you’re starting to notice—the hummingbirds you’ve seen all summer have disappeared. If you haven’t seen those beloved birds in a while, you’re probably wondering if they’ll ever come back.

How do Hummingbirds Find Feeders?

Several hummingbirds eat from a feeder
clayton harrison/Shutterstock.com

If you aren’t sure if your hummingbirds will come back, the answer is a positive one. Research affirms that, yes, your hummingbird visitors will return next year! These tiny travelers are known for their incredible homing abilities. They don’t just come back to the same general area, they often return to the very same feeder (or feeders) every year.

So how do hummingbirds find feeders? The answer lies in their remarkable memory and keen sense of direction. Hummingbirds are believed to remember every flower and feeder they’ve visited, using this information to plot their journey.

The intricate details of this navigation system remain a mystery, but one thing is clear. When they depart for warmer climates, they’re just taking a temporary break and will be back in your yard when the weather warms up again.

First Nature Hummingbird Feeder

The red color of these feeders attracts birds.

When Do the Hummingbirds Come Back?

Hummingbird flying up to red feeder by a window

If they have already left for the winter, when do the hummingbirds come back? The exact timing varies based on your location, but generally, you can expect hummingbirds to start reappearing in late March to early April in most parts of the U.S. If your birds haven’t left your yard yet, you can expect them to leave by the late fall.

You should have your feeders ready in time for their arrival. That being said, you shouldn’t leave your hummingbird feeders out all year long. If you keep their feeders out after it starts to get cold, they might be tempted to stick around longer in the freezing weather, risking their health. It’s best to put away feeders by late fall and bring them out again by late March or early April.

You should also be sure to put your feeders up in the same location every year. This will help your hummingbirds find their way back successfully. Make sure you have a spot near your home that is sturdy and won’t change much from season to season, like a strong tree branch or a windowsill.

BOLITE Hummingbird Feeder

If you want something a little fancier, this is a great option.

Missing your little green friends and wondering, “When do the hummingbirds come back?” Don’t worry. Your hummingbird visitors have not said their final goodbyes. They’ve simply taken a vacation and will be back next year, ready to enjoy your food in the spring.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
LifeSavvy is focused on one thing: making your life outside of work even better. Want to know more?