When do Hummingbirds leave Florida? Hummingbird Migration Complete Guide

when do hummingbirds leave florida
Hummingbirds leave Florida around September, and they migrate to Florida in both the spring and fall. 11 species of hummingbirds are found in Florida throughout the year. The Ruby-throated species is a year-round Florida resident.

Hummingbird season in Florida is almost constant. Because of the mild winters along the Gulf Coast, several species of hummingbirds migrate to Florida for the winter.

Other species arrive in early spring and stay for the season. Florida hosts eleven different species of hummingbirds in total.

Many of these are accidental, with only occasional sightings reported, but one hummingbird lives in Florida year-round. Read on for more information about hummingbird migration in Florida.

When Do Hummingbirds Leave Florida?

Hummingbirds start to leave Florida in September. More will go in October, with most species migrating south by the end of October. Males begin fall migration first, heading for wintering grounds.

Female hummingbirds finish raising young and join the males one to two weeks later. All species but one leaves the state during winter.

Where Do Hummingbirds Go When They Leave Florida?

Most hummingbird species overwinter in South America or Mexico. Because of the warmer weather, hummingbirds spend the winter months closer to the Equator.

Some hummingbirds spend winter on the Gulf Coast. States, including Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, host a variety of hummingbird species year-round.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird flying while feeding on purple Salvia
Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeding on Salvia

When Do Hummingbirds Migrate To Florida?

Hummingbirds begin migrating to Florida between late February and early March. Some migrants pass through Florida on their way to breeding grounds farther north. Other hummingbirds migrate to Florida for winter, arriving in September or October and staying until March or April.

Usually, male hummingbirds migrate first. They fly to their spring or fall homes and scout for food sources. The better the food sources near a male hummingbird, the more likely a female will choose him as her mate!

Females follow one or two weeks behind the males. As soon as they arrive, they start to build a nest and wait for the males to court them.

When Should Florida Residents Put Out Hummingbird Feeders?

Hang hummingbird feeders by the first week of March. Hummingbirds remember where their food sources are and will look for their usual feeders when they arrive.

Keep feeders filled with fresh hummingbird nectar. Migrants passing through always need accessible food sources. Hummingbirds need to feed constantly, especially during migration, because they have a fast metabolism.

Do Hummingbirds Stay In Florida Year-Round?

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird stays in south Florida year-round. Some Ruby-throated migrate across the Gulf of Mexico in search of wintering grounds in Mexico or Central America.

Other Ruby-throated Hummingbirds overwinter in Florida. Most other species of hummingbirds migrate out of Florida for the winter.

What Are Tips For Attracting Hummingbirds To My Backyard?

Hang hummingbird feeders

Consider keeping them up year-round. Hummingbirds depend on readily available food sources. Making your own inexpensive sugar water is easy.

Combine one cup of sugar with 4 cups of boiling water. Let cool and fill your feeders! Store any extra nectar in the fridge to prevent bacteria growth.

Plant a hummingbird garden

Even using just a small area, planting a few native plants will help attract hummingbirds. Choose flowers with bright red or pink colors.

Varieties to consider include firebush, azaleas, salvia, and trumpet vine. These flowers will also attract another hummingbird food source.

In addition to homemade nectar and flowers, hummingbirds also eat various small insectsThey can even grab some insects in mid-air!

Planting flowers will draw in other insects and pollinators, ensuring hummingbirds always have food. Once the hummingbirds find your food, they will return year after year.

Rufous Hummingbird feeding on pink flowers
Rufous Hummingbird

The Most Common Hummingbird In Florida

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Recognized by his ruby-red throat, or gorget, this hummingbird species is a Florida resident year-round. In fact, he is the only hummingbird that doesn’t migrate out of the state.

The Ruby-throated is commonly found in backyards, feeding from hummingbird feeders. The males are territorial and can be found perched beside feeders, ready to defend their food from other birds!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird’s breeding range actually extends from the Atlantic Ocean all the way west to Kansas. It also ranges north from Central Florida all the way into Canada.

Like other hummingbird species, the female builds a nest with soft plant material and binds it with spider webs. She lays 2 eggs at once and cares for the babies by herself. She can raise 2 sets of young in a breeding season.

Seasonal Hummingbirds

These species are regular visitors to Florida during the winter. They migrate from the western US to the Gulf Coast during winter.

Black-chinned Hummingbird

This species is often spotted in Florida between September and April. They are more common in the western US but spend winters near the Gulf Coast.

Males are known for their black throats with a purple patch underneath. Females have white tips on their tails and a pale throat.

Buff-bellied Hummingbird

Typically found between Texas and Central America, there have been sightings of Buff-bellied Hummingbirds in Florida between September and May. They are known for their red bills and green-speckled bodies.

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbirds can be distinguished because of their bright orange feathers. They, too, have been reported in most parts of the state during winter.

Rufous breed in southern Alaska and travel down the Pacific Coast into the Rocky Mountains. They migrate up to 4,000 miles each way—quite a journey for a tiny bird.

White-Eared Hummingbird perched on a branch
White-Eared Hummingbird

Accidental Species Of Hummingbirds Found In Florida

Most of the species below are occasional visitors to Florida in the winter. Many have been spotted in the northwest part of the state near the Gulf Coast.

Allen’s Hummingbird

Allen’s are extremely rare, but a few sightings have been recorded near Tampa. They closely resemble the Rufous Hummingbird in color, but Allen’s have a narrower tail. Allen’s Hummingbirds are most commonly found in the west.

Anna’s Hummingbird

Male Anna’s have a vibrant pink throat and a greenish-gray body. Only a few have been spotted in northwest Florida along the Gulf Coast. Anna’s Hummingbirds live in western Oregon year-round and are extremely common along the Pacific Coast.

Broad-Billed Hummingbird

Spotted just a few times during winter, these hummingbirds are distinctive in color. Males’ bodies are metallic green with a blue throat. Both the males and females have red beaks that are black near their heads.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed have been recorded in northwest Florida. Males have a rose-colored throat and a green back. Broad-tailed hummingbirds prefer higher elevations, nesting in evergreen or aspen trees.

Calliope Hummingbird

Calliope Hummingbirds are the smallest hummingbird in North America. They are very rare in Florida, with only a few sightings in the winter months.

Males have bright magenta throats and dark tails. These tiny birds fly almost 5,000 each way during migration.

Costa’s Hummingbird

Sightings of Costa’s Hummingbirds in Florida are rare. Male Costa’s have a vibrant purple throat and a green body. Costa’s prefer to spend most of their time in the desert and are a rarity in the eastern US.

White-Eared Hummingbird

Again, the White-eared Hummingbird has been spotted a few times during winter. They are distinguished by the white strip over their eye.

The males have green feathers on their backs and sides. White-eared Hummingbirds typically range from Nicaragua to southeastern Arizona and into New Mexico and Texas.

Sarah Pearce

Sarah enjoys feeding hummingbirds in the warmer months, and a range of finches, woodpeckers, and cardinals in the cooler months. She enjoys researching and learning more about birds, gardening, and preserving food. She is learning how to maximize her small city backyard and is amazed at all the possibilities. She lives in southwestern Indiana with her family.

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