When Do Hummingbirds Leave Georgia?

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Georgia
Georgia hummingbirds arrive in early March during spring migration. Hummingbirds then leave Georgia around mid-October. Some species overwinter in the state, including the Rufous Hummingbird.

Georgia has both migrating hummingbirds and year-round resident hummingbirds. Because of its warmer winters along the Gulf Coast, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and other species migrate to Georgia in the fall.

Migrating hummingbirds generally leave Georgia for Mexico or Central America by mid-October. Winter residents arrive near the same time. Read on to find out when hummingbirds leave Georgia.

Learn which species of hummingbirds spend winter in the state and more information about hummingbird migration. Find out how you can create your own area for hummingbirds.

What Time Of Year Do Hummingbirds Leave Georgia?

Most hummingbirds depart Georgia by mid-October. Like spring migration, Georgia is also a hot spot for the fall migration.

Hummingbirds pass through Georgia on their way to their winter home in Mexico or South America. Some species may inhabit wintering grounds along the Gulf Coast.

Hummingbirds seek temperate climates rather than extreme heat or cold. States like Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Texas host hummingbirds year-round since their winter temperatures are warmer.

Do Hummingbirds Migrate At The Same Time?

Typically male hummingbirds begin migration a week or two before females. Males arrive in their new territory and find food sources.

Females join them later and start building nests as soon as they arrive. Males perform daring courtship rituals, including dives through the air and flash feather displays, to entice females to mate with them.

Unlike other birds, hummingbirds are solitary migrators. Instead of flying in a flock, they fly alone. Hummingbird migration can take different forms; some fly 500 miles straight across the Gulf of Mexico, while others may only fly for 1 to 2 hours per day.

when do hummingbirds leave Georgia
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Where Do Hummingbirds Go When They Leave Georgia?

Hummingbirds travel either north or south, depending on the season. During spring migration, hummingbirds fly to the eastern US or Canada for breeding grounds.

During fall migration, hummingbirds fly south like other birds. Hummingbirds typically winter in South or Central America. Because Georgia has milder winter temperatures, some species of hummingbirds are found in the state between November and March. 

Birdwatchers commonly see the Rufous Hummingbird during the winter months in Georgia. One species, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, stays in Georgia year-round.

Hummingbird Season In Georgia

Since Georgia reports sightings of hummingbirds year-round, hummingbird season never really ends. Georgia residents should, therefore, consider leaving hummingbird feeders up year-round. 

Those in the southern half of the state may see Rufous Hummingbirds, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Broad-Tailed Hummingbirds, or Buff-bellied Hummingbirds between mid-November and mid-March.

If you decide to take down feeders, wait until at least late October. Take down feeders two-three weeks after you’ve seen the last hummingbird.

Then, make sure to put feeders up no later than mid-February. Migrating hummingbirds need plenty of food to sustain them during their migration route.

What Do I Feed Hummingbirds In Winter?

In the winter, keep feeding hummingbird nectar:

  • Boil 4 cups of water
  • mix in 1 cup of sugar
  • Stir sugar into water
  • Continue to simmer for two more minutes

Once it’s cool, it’s ready! Add it to your feeders and keep the extra nectar in the fridge. If the weather gets especially cold, you can increase the sugar ratio to a heaping cup of sugar to give these tiny birds extra energy.

Hummingbirds also feed on small insects and flowers that are available. Consider planting flowers with staggered bloom times, so hummingbirds always have access to flower nectar.

Hummingbird Necessities

If hummingbirds are in your area, adding a few supplies to your yard or patio can go a long way in assisting them. Hummingbirds always need hummingbird nectar, as well as flowers and water. They also eat the tiny insects attracted to these flowers.

In winter, hummingbirds may depend more heavily on homemade nectar since flowers and insects are more scarce. When planning a hummingbird area in Georgia, consider plants with different bloom times so that at least one type of flower is always blooming.

Choose tubular-shaped flowers in bright red or pink, such as trumpet honeysuckle, cardinal flower, jewelweed, or Eastern red columbine. In summer, hummingbirds always need fresh water. 

Consider adding shade plants to help hummingbirds stay cool. Make sure to keep feeders filled with fresh food, changing the sugar water before it ferments in the heat.

georgia hummingbird 4
Ruby-throated Hummingbird Female

Wintering Hummingbirds

  • Rufous Hummingbird
    • Most commonly observed wintering hummingbird, ranges from Alaska to Mexico
  • Buff-bellied Hummingbird
    • An accidental species found in spring and winter
  • Broad-tailed Hummingbird
    • Very rare, but some sightings between late summer and early spring
  • Allen’s Hummingbird
    • Uncommon, with fewer than 11 reported in the state

Accidental Species in Georgia

  • Anna’s Hummingbird
    • Rare for Georgia, usually found between Arizona and Baja California
  • Black-chinned Hummingbird
    • Also rare, with only 5 sightings in state
  • Calliope Hummingbird
    • Only 1 or 2 reported each winter
  • Green Breasted Mango
  • Magnificent Hummingbird
  • Mexican-violetear

Georgia’s Year-Round Resident

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the only species of hummingbird to live in Georgia year-round. They are also the only species of hummingbird that nest in Georgia.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds sometimes overwinter on the Gulf of Mexico, especially if they are too old to migrate. This species of hummingbird is common in the spring and summer since they can tolerate the heat and humidity better than other species.

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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