Avid gardeners and birdwatchers wait eagerly up and down North American gardens to spot the bright iridescent colors of hummingbirds camped on their feeders. One of their key questions is always-
When Do Hummingbirds Leave? The answer depends on the region where you live. Hummingbirds travel south post-summer, but the specific time varies. Towards the north, the tiny birds may start disappearing as early as mid-July, while they may stick around in Florida as late as December.
Hummingbirds are Super Flyers
Hummingbirds can fly fast for long periods of time. Most of the species sighted regularly in North America travel hundreds, it not thousands, of miles every year.
Their predictable behaviors can help hummingbird enthusiasts plan for the visitors to arrive and leave on schedule, barring natural adversities that may throw timing off by a week here or there.
The General Pattern of Migration
Hummingbirds come to the US and Canada to breed in the summer and travel south (to Mexico and Central America) to winter.
Male birds often arrive earlier than females to establish habitats where they can successfully court their companions.
In most climates, hummingbirds show up by mid-March, though they may be delayed a couple of weeks in colder areas up north.
Food Sources are the Driving Force, but Daylight Hours Play a Critical Role
The basic reason behind migration is food – namely, nectar from flowering plants, insects, grubs etc.
Hummingbirds leave the intense competition in the warm southern reaches during the summer and try to reach their spots up north by the spring when the meadows teem with new life.
But actual timings of arrival and departure is set by their body clocks.
Hummingbirds do not measure if their food sources have dwindled, or if the temperature is falling – but rather track declining daylight hours.
As one goes from north to south, visitors like the Ruby-throated Hummingbird can start leaving by mid-July, though most species will stick around through early October.
It depends on how fast your region is losing daylight.
Migration Behavior and Length Vary by Species
Hummingbird migration patterns vary by species.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds arrive up north by spring. Some leave quickly after breeding, maybe as early as mid-July, while others can stay back a couple more months.
Most get to Mexico and a bit further south, though the warm US Gulf States may find stragglers. This bird, weighing about the same as a penny, can cross the 500 miles of the Gulf in a day!
These 3-inch-long birds travel as much as 3,900 miles every year, making them one of the longest migrants among birds (more than 78 million times their body length).
They leave Mexico late, reaching North American habitats in May, and typically start flying back by mid-July.
This species leaves Mexico early (by December, typically) and is in the Pacific Northwest by January.
They are among the earliest visitors. When they leave, one forest-dwelling sub-species travels all the way down to Mexico, while a coastal marshland dweller species winter in Southern California.
They do not migrate out of the North American continent, tending to hang around Baja Mexico and Coastal California, moving north and south for short distances.
When do hummingbirds leave Ohio?
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds leave Ohio in November. They visit Ohio in the first week of April and during September – December you can see some rare species of Hummingbirds in Ohio.
If you are a hummingbird lover and want to see some rare species in your garden then keep your hummingbird feeders out during these seasons.
When do hummingbirds leave Missouri?
Hummingbirds leave Missouri during Mid August – early October. They visit Missouri during April – May and the female hummingbirds nest and raise their young ones here.
When do hummingbirds leave Virginia?
Hummingbirds leave Virginia during September and October and migrate to other winter States.
The male hummingbirds visit Virginia in April and the female come in May.
When do hummingbirds leave Mississippi?
In Mississippi, you can witness hummingbirds leaving by November.
They Visit in March and so you can start setting up your hummingbird feeders in your garden or backyard in March.
When do hummingbirds come back in spring?
In spring, they arrive at Golf Cost by March and in the northern states and southern provinces during April-May. The hummingbird males always arrive one week earlier than females.
Hummingbird lovers should learn the tendencies of specific groups.
If you plan ahead, you will have a great idea when the first ones will arrive and when you will tend to depart.
Then, of course, there are some coastal areas along the southern US border and certain parts of California where hummingbirds are found around the year.
How long will hummingbirds stay around? The hummingbird stays around the same place for 2-5 days generally. Therefore, you must keep changing the nectar every 3-4 days.
Do hummingbirds return to the same place every year? Yes, I have seen them returning every year and this also proves that they do are loyal and have an amazing memory. But in case they don’t find the feeder, they will go away and may never return back.