When To Put Out Hummingbird Feeders In Ohio: Complete Migration Guide

when to put out hummingbird feeders in Ohio
Hummingbirds migrate to Ohio between between March and late April. Four species visit Ohio. The Ruby-throated hummingbird is the most common Ohio hummingbird. Most hummingbirds leave Ohio in September, looking for warm places to overwinter.

Hummingbirds begin spring migration and fly north from Mexico or the Southern US. Many species of hummingbirds migrate hundreds of miles during the spring. These tiny birds usually arrive in Ohio in early spring and leave in mid-fall. One species of hummingbird breeds in Ohio during the spring and summer.

Read on to learn the best time of year to feed hummingbirds in Ohio. Find out when the first hummingbirds arrive for the spring. Learn which four species can be found in Ohio, as well as tips to attract hummingbirds to your space.

When Do Hummingbirds Migrate To Ohio?

Migrants begin flying through Ohio in mid-March. These early hummingbirds will continue north for breeding grounds. The main summer resident, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, arrives after the migrants.

Male Ruby-throated arrive in late March or early April. Females come closer to mid-April or early May. Once these hummingbirds set up territories, they begin breeding.

Because of their long spring migration, some hummingbirds can arrive as late as Mid-May. Each hummingbird migrates alone, on their own timeline, rather than as a group. Early to mid-spring is when most hummingbirds arrive in Ohio and the time to ensure hummingbird feeders are in place.

When Should You Put Hummingbird Feeders Out In Ohio?

Make sure to place hummingbird feeders in the first week of March. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds fly from as far south as Central America and need plenty of food along the way. They’ll be looking for nectar feeders and flowers they can feed from. Once you start feeding hummingbirds, they’ll visit you each year.

Hummingbirds know when to migrate based on environmental factors, likely including the prevalence of blooming flowers. Some species, like the Ruby-throated, fly thousands of miles each spring and fall during migration. Others, like Anna’s Hummingbird, stay mainly on the Pacific Coast, with only occasional sightings in the midwest and the eastern US.

hummingbird migration 2
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

When Do Hummingbirds Leave Ohio?

Ohio hummingbirds begin fall migration in mid-August. Some Ruby-throated Hummingbirds fly to the Gulf Coast states of Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, or Mississippi for the winter. Other Ruby-throated cross the Gulf of Mexico and winter in Costa Rica or Panama.

More migrant hummingbirds pass through Ohio in September. Most hummingbirds are gone from Ohio by October. Any hummingbirds who overwinter are too old or sick to migrate. Occasionally some sightings of Rufous Hummingbirds or Anna’s Hummingbirds are reported during winter, but only rarely.

When Should You Take Down Hummingbird Feeders In Ohio?

Hummingbirds need good food sources during migration. Leave hummingbird feeders until mid-November to ensure all migrating birds have access to hummingbird nectar on their journey. Late summer and early fall are quite busy times for hummingbirds. They must increase body fat to ensure they can sustain themselves before migration.

Hummingbirds can tolerate some cold weather by entering torpor, slowing down their bodies to save energy. They prefer moderate climates, however, and usually overwinter in places that stay above freezing. Once the nights in Ohio approach frosty temperatures, hummingbirds are gone.

Types Of Hummingbirds In Ohio

Ohio has one species of hummingbird that can be found year-round. The Ruby- Throated Hummingbird is, by far, the most common hummingbird reported in Ohio during the spring and summer. Some Ruby-throated have been reported in January, but these sightings are rare.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the very most common in the eastern United States. Distinguished by his ruby-red throat, the male of this species uses it to his advantage during courtship displays. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds face the sun, flashing their red throat and green back plumage to impress females.

These hummingbirds are often seen in backyards, feeding from nectar feeders or available flowers. Ruby-throated are easy to attract. Like all hummingbirds, they remember where food sources are from year to year. They also return to their birthplace every spring. Once you start feeding them, they’ll remember your area for next year!

Female Rufous Hummingbird feeding on nectar in pink flowers
Female Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

The Rufous Hummingbird is more common in Ohio in late fall or early winter. This species of hummingbird is small, closer to 3 inches in length. The male’s bright red-orange coloring easily identifies him, as does his aggression towards any bird or animal invading his territory.

The Rufous Hummingbird breeds as far up north as Alaska. These birds typically stay on the Pacific Coast, ranging down into Mexico. They are spotted in Ohio only rarely.

Calliope Hummingbird

The Calliope Hummingbird, another winter visitor, is also very rare in Ohio. Calliope Hummingbirds are the smallest hummingbird in North America. Male Calliopes have a magenta throat (called a gorget) that extends slightly down their sides. This species of hummingbird breeds in the western US and Canada, extending from British Columbia to California and Central America.

Anna’s Hummingbird

Sightings of Anna’s Hummingbird have been reported occasionally in winter in eastern Ohio. Anna’s Hummingbirds usually inhabit Baja California, and a small area on the Pacific Coast of Oregon, Washington, and California.

Sometimes they extend into Arizona or New Mexico. Male Anna’s have a rose-pink crown and gorget. Anna’s are smaller and stockier than other hummingbirds.

Allen’s Hummingbird

Allen’s Hummingbird has been reported 2 times in Ohio since 2009. Allen’s also inhabit Oregon and California, and overwinter in Mexico. Male Allen’s Hummingbirds have a reddish-orange throat, with green feathers speckled on their back.

Black-chinned Hummingbird

The Black-chinned Hummingbird has been reported once in Ohio, outside of Columbus. Black-chinned Hummingbirds breed in the western states of Colorado, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and parts of California.

They are common in Mexico and the Gulf Coast states during winter. Male Black-chinned have a black throat and greenish-brown head. Underneath his throat, he has a bright patch of purple.

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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