One of the biggest bird foraging myths is that leaving hummingbird feeders in the fall prevents these birds from migrating. In fact, available feeders can ensure that hummingbirds have a safe and healthy food source and can refuel during the journey so that they can migrate successfully. But when should bird feeders remove hummingbird feeders and not risk depriving birds of their basic nectar?
Factors that affect when hummingbird feeders are removed
Without starving the hummingbird, the exact time of when the nectar feeder is removed varies from region to region and is affected by a number of factors, including:
- Position: Birds in the northern region naturally remove hummingbird feeders early in the fall. In canada and Alaska’s northernmost hummingbird mountains, hummingbird enthusiasts are even able to safely remove the feeder in late summer without hurting any hummingones. The southern region usually extends the feeder. In areas where hummingbirds live all year round or are likely to spend the winter, feeders may be left throughout the year and hummingbirds will be grateful to visit.
- Climate: In areas where flowers wither or early autumn storms affect bird migration in the summer, it is usually wise to let nectar feeders late. Even if the natural food source is reduced, it can provide a reliable source of food for hummingbirds. If the flower crop is poor all year round, it is wise to extend the feed supply, so that healthy nectar is in short supply.
- Migration: Learning about hummingbird migration can help bird walkers plan when to shoot down hummingbird feeders. Male hummingbirds often migrate before females, and young birds are one of the last birds to begin their journey south. If these birds need nutrients to store body fat for migration, the feeder is available, and the birds remember these locations and return year after year. Therefore, it is wise to keep the feeder available throughout the peak migration period.
Exactly when to stop feeding hummingbirds
The exact date of shooting down the hummingbird feeder varies not only from region to region, but also in different yards as individual birds use popular food sources. Ideally, the feeder should be kept clean, filled, and supplied to birds for at least a week or two after the last hummingbird has been seen visiting. At the same time, birdwalkers must remember that migrating hummingbirds or different hummingbird species may still arrive as they pass through the area. If no birds are found after at least 7 to 10 days, the feeder can be safely removed and stored until next spring.
Many birdwalkers keep a personal birdwatching diary, notebook, or calendar to mark when the “they” hummingbirds arrive and leave each year. This makes it easier to prepare for release or remove the hummingbird feeder on time.
Temporarily remove the hummingbird feeder
Even in mid-summer, when hummingbirds visit the feeder every few minutes, they may need to temporarily remove the nectar feeder to solve problems and protect the birds. From a few minutes to a few days, the hummingbird feeder may need to be removed to:
- Cleaning and refilling feeder: The hummingbird feeder should be thoroughly rinsed each time it is refilled and the spoiled nectar removed. More thorough cleaning and disinfection should be carried out every few days or when the feeder shows signs of mold, mold or other contamination. If the nectar is prepared early, it takes only a few minutes to clean and refill the feeder and the birds will return quickly. Some bird walkers may retain a spare feeder, so there is no delay in providing a clean, fresh feeder for the birds.
- Stay away from insects: Lovely flower bee birds love also love wasps, bees, ants, prayer mounts, and other insects. If too many insects monopolize the feeder, removing it for a few days will encourage the insect to move on and they are unlikely to return once the feed is replaced. At the same time, measures are taken to minimize insects on hummingbird feeders, which can allow the feeder to provide to the birds while preventing harmful pests.
- Discourage visitors: Larger visitors, such as bears, bats, and even bears, may try to satisfy the sweet desire for hummingbird feeders. Removing the feeder for a week or two will prevent them from finding a source of food and encouraging other wildlife to seek a more suitable dining option. The birds will return when the feeder recovers, but if the mammals do not get the food they want nearby, they are likely to leave the area.
- Stay away from the storm.: Summer thunderstorms can prompt hummingbird feeders and cause heinous leaks, even if birds have taken steps to minimize hummingbird feeder leaks. Removing the feeder at the height of the storm will also prevent any accidental damage if the feeder falls. If necessary, simply remove the feeder from the hanger and place it on a table, bench, or on the ground in the reserve. Hungry hummingbirds may still go to feeders even before they re-hang.
- Preventnecine freezing: In early spring or late autumn, unexpected frosts and sudden chills can accidentally freeze hummingbird nectar. If necessary, birds can remove the feeders overnight and leave them indoors to keep the liquid. Make sure that the feeder is replaced in a timely manner for early morning feeding, or take other steps to prevent nectar from freezing so that the feeder remains accessible even on the coolest night.
Knowing whether hummingbird feeders need to be temporarily removed, or in the fall, will not be fully removed until next spring, helping birdmen always have nectar supplies for these flying jewels.