You would not believe the number of questions I am frequently ask with regard to if it is alright to leave hummingbird feeders up or should they be taken down. This is what has prompted me to write this post. I will address the most commonly asked questions on this subject.
Keeping your feeders up and full will not keep the birds from migrating. There is no such thing as an exact date by which time hummingbird feeders should be taken down. It is believed that migrating hummingbirds may be helped by feeders that are left up until at least two weeks have passed since seeing your last hummer. Leaving your feeders up will not stop or prevent a hummingbird from migrating.
Male hummingbirds generally migrate several weeks ahead of immature hummingbirds and females. When migration occurs is determined by a change in the length of the day or photoperiod.
Hummingbirds require a great deal of protein in their diets too and that doesn’t come from sugar feeders, but is gained when the birds eat insects. Shortened days, not lack of food, will tell the hummingbirds when to begin their journey. Hummingbird feeders should be left up at least three weeks after seeing your last bird. This will help migrating birds that pass through your area.
It is important to leave your feeders up and full. Migrating birds need all the quick and easy nourishment they can find to sustain the incredible energy demands of migration. It is vital that hummingbirds fatten up for their extended trips, particularly those crossing the Gulf of Mexico.
As you can see, it is important to leave your hummingbird feeders up for a long as possible. My sincere hope is that this post has addressed many of the commonly asked questions people have about leaving feeders up or not.