Happy March!! Believe it or not, Spring is just around the corner. That first warm, sunny day of the year when the sky is bright blue and the birds are singing always makes me ready to plant our garden and put out our feeders. But, when should I put out my hummingbird feeder?
Why is timing important?
Before answering that primary question, first let’s ask – why is it important to get the timing right when it comes to hanging your feeder? Simply put, if you hang your feeder too early, you’ll waste time and nectar, since you need to keep swapping out the old nectar for fresh even if it isn’t being emptied. If you put your feeder up too late, hummers may come back before you get it out and decide to move on, as there is no apparent food source at your home! They may rediscover you later, of course, but it will likely take longer, as they will have already found other food sources.
Since hummingbirds are migratory, the best timing for when to hang your feeder depends on several things. Your location primarily determines the answer, and thankfully, there are a number of places to find data on hummingbird migratory patterns and sightings. Check out the live maps linked below (maps for Spring of 2022 linked):
One additional factor to consider is the weather. For example, in mid-February of 2021, Texas experienced an historic deep freeze. The intensely cold weather that spread throughout the south of the United States slowed down the hummer’s normal migration patterns, since they fly north only when it is safely warm. We had to wait weeks longer than usual until we saw our first hummer that year! So, take your current weather into account when you are deciding when to hang your feeder.
If you’re asking yourself, “When should I put out my hummingbird feeder?” – check out the migration links above, take your weather forecast into account, and make a plan! And don’t forget – if you’re in need of a feeder… we’ve got you covered!