Frugal Living » State-by-State Guide to Hummingbird Arrivals

State-by-State Guide to Hummingbird Arrivals

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When to Welcome Hummingbirds Back: A State-by-State Guide to Hanging Your Feeders

As the seasons change and winter thaws into spring, nature enthusiasts and bird lovers across the United States eagerly anticipate the return of hummingbirds. These tiny, vibrant birds make a remarkable journey back to their summer habitats in the U.S., where they breed and feed throughout the warmer months.

Knowing when to hang your hummingbird feeders can help ensure that these energetic flyers have a reliable source of nectar as soon as they arrive. Here’s a comprehensive guide on when hummingbirds typically return to each of the 50 states and the best time to put out your feeders.

hummingbird feeder loaded with birds


Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania:

  • Hummingbird Arrival: Early to mid-May
  • Feeder Advice: Hang your feeders by the first week of May.

In the cool climates of the Northeast, hummingbirds typically arrive by mid-May. It’s best to have feeders ready slightly earlier to accommodate early arrivals, ensuring they find the energy they need after their long journey.

Which birds can you expect to see?

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird: The sole species typically found across the entire Northeast, these hummingbirds are prevalent and highly anticipated each spring.

northeast ruby throated hummingbird


Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas:

  • Hummingbird Arrival: Early April to early May
  • Feeder Advice: Set out feeders by late March.

Which birds can you expect to see?

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird: Dominant throughout the region, these are the most common hummingbirds during the warmer months.
  • Rufous Hummingbird: Mainly seen during migration, particularly in the western and Gulf Coast states.

The Southeast sees an earlier return of hummingbirds, thanks to its warmer climate. In Florida and the coastal Southern states, feeders can even be set out as early as late February.

southeast ruby throated and rufous hummingbird


Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas:

  • Hummingbird Arrival: Late April to early May
  • Feeder Advice: Prepare feeders by mid-April.

Midwestern states should prepare for hummingbird arrivals by mid-April, as the birds begin to populate areas by late April, depending on local weather conditions.

Which birds can you expect to see?

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird: Predominantly found throughout the Midwest.
  • Black-chinned Hummingbird: Occurs in the western parts of the region, particularly in states like Kansas and Nebraska.

midwest black chinned and ruby throated hummingbird


Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona:

  • Hummingbird Arrival: Mid-March to early April
  • Feeder Advice: Hang feeders by early March.

The Southwest is a primary route for many migrating hummingbirds, some even wintering in the milder climates of Arizona and Texas. Early preparation of feeders ensures these birds have a food source upon arrival.

Which birds can you expect to see?

  • Black-chinned Hummingbird: Common across the Southwest, these birds enjoy the arid landscapes.
  • Broad-tailed Hummingbird: Found particularly in higher elevations and cooler climates within the region.
  • Rufous Hummingbird: Noted for their aggressive nature, they pass through during migration.
  • Anna’s Hummingbird: Residents in the milder parts of the Southwest, especially along the coastal areas and southern Arizona.
  • Calliope Hummingbird: The smallest bird in the U.S., occasionally seen during migration.

southwest black chinned and ruby throated hummingbird


Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, California, Alaska, Hawaii:

  • Hummingbird Arrival: Early April to early May (varies greatly by latitude and elevation)
  • Feeder Advice: Set out feeders by late March in lower elevations; mid-April in higher elevations.

Which birds can you expect to see?

  • Black-chinned Hummingbird: Common in the southern and eastern areas.
  • Broad-tailed Hummingbird: Widespread throughout the mountainous regions.
  • Rufous Hummingbird: Known for their long migration routes, they are frequent visitors, especially in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Anna’s Hummingbird: Mainly along the Pacific coast, these are year-round residents in many parts of California and Oregon.
  • Calliope Hummingbird: Travels through the region during migration, often stopping in the mountainous areas.
  • Allen’s Hummingbird: Primarily found along the coastal areas of Oregon and California.
  • Costa’s Hummingbird: Mostly in the desert regions of California and southern Nevada.

The diverse landscapes and climates of the Western states mean that hummingbird arrival times can vary. Coastal and lower elevation areas may see birds earlier, while mountainous regions should prepare for later arrivals.

west black chinned and ruby throated hummingbird 2

Special Notes

  • Alaska: Expect hummingbirds by late May to early June.
  • Hawaii: Hawaii does not have native hummingbirds, but similar nectar-feeding birds can be supported with feeders year-round.

emerald hummingbird

Hummingbird Who’s Who: A Peek Into the Wings of Our Feathered Guests

Ah, the hummingbird—nature’s own little bundle of joy, buzz, and boundless energy. But did you know not all hummingbirds wear the same feathers? That’s right, my curious friends! From the backyard enthusiasts to the aspiring ornithologists among us, it’s time to put on our detective hats (or binoculars) and get acquainted with the delightful variety of hummingbird species gracing our skies and gardens.

Rufous Hummingbird—The Fiery Traveler
Frequenting the West and making long-haul migrations to Alaska, the Rufous hummingbird is like the spirited road-tripper of the avian world. With their vibrant orange and sometimes even reddish plumage, they’re like flying embers, bringing warmth and color wherever they go. Spotting a Rufous? You’re witnessing one of nature’s most impressive migrations!

rufous hummingbird west

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird—The Eastern Jewel
Exclusive to the East, these dazzling creatures are like the precious stones of the hummingbird family. The males flaunt a brilliant ruby-red throat that catches the light in just the right way, making it a breathtaking sight. If you’re in the Eastern states, watching for that glint could reveal the presence of these jeweled flyers.

ruby throated hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird—The Year-Round Reveler
Mainly calling the West Coast home, Anna’s hummingbirds don’t feel the need to migrate as much as their cousins. They’re the locals who know the best spots and stick around all year, dazzling us with their green and pink iridescence. Spotting Anna’s? You’ve got a neighbor who knows the importance of staying put and enjoying the local vibes.

annas hummingbird

Black-Chinned Hummingbird—The Subtle Charmer
Gracing mostly the Southwest, the Black-Chinned hummingbird might not flash bright colors, but their elegance is in their simplicity. With a namesake black chin that can reveal a hidden violet hue in the right light, they remind us that sometimes, beauty is in the understated details.

black chinned hummingbird

Costa’s Hummingbird
The Costa’s Hummingbird is a desert lover, favoring arid regions of the Southwest. Males mesmerize with a deep purple throat and head, which they fluff out during courtship displays to catch the sunlight and attract mates. Their ability to thrive in hot, dry landscapes speaks to the incredible adaptability of hummingbirds.

costas hummingbird

Broad-Tailed Hummingbird—The Mountain Melodist
Serenading the high altitudes of the Western mountains, the Broad-Tailed hummingbird brings not only visual delight but also an auditory one. Their wings create a unique trilling sound that adds a soundtrack to the mountain air. Encountering a Broad-Tailed means you’re privy to nature’s own live concert.

broad tailed hummingbird

Allen’s Hummingbird—The Coastal Acrobat
Mostly spotted along the coastal regions of California, Allen’s hummingbirds are the surfers of the hummingbird world. Swift, agile, and with a penchant for showing off their coppery feathers, they embody the spirit of the sunny, laid-back coast.

allens hummingbird

Buff-Bellied Hummingbird

A southern specialty, the Buff-Bellied Hummingbird brings a touch of the exotic with its iridescent green upper parts and buff-colored underbelly. Predominantly found in Texas and sometimes venturing into Louisiana and Mississippi, these birds frequent subtropical forests and gardens, delighting with their presence year-round.

buff bellied hummingbird

Calliope Hummingbird

Holding the title of North America’s smallest bird, the Calliope Hummingbird is a testament to the adage that great things come in small packages. Males display striking magenta streaks on their throats. Despite their size, they are long-distance migrants, traveling from Central America to the U.S. and Canada for breeding.
calliope hummingbird

Each of these species brings a unique flair and set of stories to our gardens and lives, reminding us of the vast tapestry of nature’s creations. By knowing who’s visiting, we can tailor our welcome—whether it be with specific plants, feeder placements, or just being ready with our cameras to capture their beauty.

Did you know? Their wings beat between 50 and 80 times per second, allowing them to perform those aerial acrobatics we all admire. During courtship displays, this rate can skyrocket up to 200 beats per second!

Remember, in the grand stage of nature, every visitor, no matter how small, plays a leading role. Here’s to welcoming each one with open arms and open hearts.

General Tips for Hummingbird Feeders

  • Cleanliness: Regularly clean feeders to prevent mold and bacteria build-up, which can harm birds.
  • Placement: Hang feeders in shaded areas to slow nectar spoilage and out of reach of predators.
  •  Hummingbird Nectar Recipe:  Mix one part white sugar with four parts water; avoid red dye as it can be harmful to hummingbirds.
Fun Fact: Despite their small size, hummingbirds have a large hippocampus, a brain area responsible for spatial memory. They can remember every flower they’ve visited, including how long it will take a flower to refill.

By following this guide, you can help support the health and vitality of the hummingbird populations gracing your state. Whether you’re a seasoned birdwatcher or a casual observer, the arrival of hummingbirds is a delightful sign that spring has truly sprung.

Love this State by State Hummingbird Guide? Pin it!

Discover the vibrant world of hummingbirds with our comprehensive State-by-State Hummingbird Guide! Ideal for bird watchers, it details when & where to spot these tiny flyers, feeder tips, and creating a hummingbird-friendly space. Pin now for a magical backyard haven! #HummingbirdGuide #BirdWatching 🌺🐦 #HummingbirdGuide #BirdWatching #NatureLovers

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