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When Should You Put Your Hummingbird Feeder out in Spring?

Hummingbird on shrub branch

Many people don’t think about putting out their feeders until…

  1. The weather is warm and they suddenly remembered they used to feed hummingbirds.
  2. They see a hummingbird in the yard.
  3. There’s a hummingbird at the window, making it known that the feeder should have been filled and put outside.
Hummingbird outside window looking for feeder
Hey! Where’s the feeder?

If you wait til then, you’ve missed a very important opportunity to help them, not to mention lure them from the neighbors. It’s important to understand that hummers don’t want to leave a good source of food. So, once they find a source, they usually stick with it. YOU want to BE that source. If you’re the first one with feeders out, that means you’re the only one with feeders out. Your neighbors will wonder where their hummingbirds are. OK, it’s not 100% because hummingbirds do remember where all the feeders are but, if yours is the only feeder available before bugs hatch and flowers bloom, that will definitely put you way up there on their list of favorites. And, if you’re consistent with those feeders, the hummingbirds will have no choice but to make your yard their go-to yard.

Catch their attention when they first arrive.

A hanging basket of flowers next to your feeder will really get their attention. It’s like the billboard on the highway that says “EAT. HERE.” Your local nursery will have some great attention-grabbing annuals that the hummingbirds can’t help but spot. A double shepherd’s hook with those constantly-blooming flowers on one side, and your feeder on the other, is almost like cheating.

SO… when DO they arrive???

Ruby Throated hummingbird early Spring
Early arriving Ruby Throat

Don’t guess. Use this handy migration map to see when the first arriving hummingbirds are getting close. Then you can get that feeder out in the nick of time. It can be downright exciting, especially if you’re recovering from cabin fever. You never know… maybe you’ll be one of the first to report a sighting. You can also look at the previous years’ arrival dates.

Check the map and you could be their go-to yard.