raising chickens is fun, fowl visions on raising chickens

Custom Search
Written by Carole

Fall is upon us and it is very obvious, even here in Florida where our seasonal changes are not as obvious to the visitors of this area.  But if you live here you can tell it is fall.  One of the most tell-tale signs for me is the slow down of visitors to my hummingbird feeders.

female hummingbird at feederI still get a visitor daily but during the summertime I get as many as five dive-bombing each other fighting over their turn at the feeder. Now there is just one little bird at my office window feeder that frequents every few hours.

I have been a bird fanatic for many years, running around with my binoculars in the backyard, viewing the birds that are hitting my feeders and anything else that may fly over.  One question I have been asked frequently by friends is, “When do you take down your hummingbird feeders?”

Our season here in Florida is longer than most because we get the visits from hummingbirds that are in migration.  I can usually predict the date of the first visit of the year by a day or two but I am not so good at predicting the leaving schedule.  But for any of you who may be wondering that same question, I normally take mine down in December.  Most of the migrating birds have made their pass and Christmas lights just don’t look good on humming bird feeders :).

When I lived in the Kentucky the season was much shorter.  The little birds wouldn’t arrive until sometime around the first part of April and then depart by October.  Normally I would put my feeder out in March and take it down in time to decorate for halloween.  To me it was so sad to see them leave.  It meant colder weather was right around the corner.  Almost like the leaves on the trees when they fall to the ground.  You can be guaranteed winter was right around the corner.

Here in Florida we do get cooler weather and an occasional frost in my region of the state, but for the most part it is nothing compared to the winters in other parts of the US.  Winters for me are shorter days, no air conditioners running, and wearing sweat shirts instead of t-shirts, jogging pants instead of shorts.  Believe it or not, we do get a change of leave coloring but not until late January.  Perhaps when that time gets here I will post our seasonal changing colors.

So for now my window feeder is still in place and will remain until our move.  I did mention we have a contract on our house, didn’t I?  Yes, we are moving and are still in negiotiation on the property we are trying to purchase so I’m not sure right now where we are going but I pray it is on seven acres.

Tags: ,

11 Responses to “When to Take Down Your Hummingbird Feeders for the Winter”

  1. Actually, the short and sweet answer to your question is “Never.” Florida residents can leave their hummingbird feeders up all year long, as long as they’re willing to keep up the maintenance despite the lower traffic. The state’s subtropical climate and lush gardens with exotic flowers make it a winter refuge for modest numbers of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (mainly in the southeastern part of the peninsula) and a few members of several “western” species such as Rufous (almost anywhere).

    P.S.: Some winter hummingbird hosts farther north wrap Christmas lights around their feeders to keep them thawed during freezing weather!

    Sheri Williamsons last blog post..Weather happens…


  2. Sheri, Thank you for visiting and commenting. Your clarification and detailed information is great for other readers. Thank you for sharing.


  3. Carol,

    I love that vertical PVC chicken feeder, the one with the short piece cut out after the elbow. How original!

    I have a cylindrical feeder that I modified so that the birds wouldn’t scatter their feed. It works beautifully. I can’t believe how much feed they used to waste and now that’s all stopped! I need to take some pics to send to you so that you can share it with others who may be interested. Not sure how to do that on your site.

    BTW, you may have an idea about a problem I’m having with my chicks. I have two Buff Orphingtons and two Silver Lace Wyandottes. They’re both one year old. The Buffs are pecking on the top rear portion of the Wyandottes back, both of them. It’s in a very neat pattern and doesn’t seem to be the result of aggression on the part of the Buffs and does not bother the Wyandottes. Thoughts?

    Sam Sirkin, Boulder, CO


  4. Your website is very good and just the information I was looking for. About Hummingbirds and when to take down the feeder. I live in Maryland and I had heard about the myth. We still see our hummers, they visit daily to our Butterfly Bush.


    Carole Reply:

    Doris, Glad the information was helpful and I hope to bring more information in the future.


  5. i was told that the hummingbirds would stay as long as the feeder was up & that they would freeze to death in Louisiana


  6. I was searching for answers to the question above, as I
    haven’t actually seen any hummers this past week, but they were sure still here a week ago, as a full cupful of feeding solution had disappeared in a short time. I hoped maybe I’d just missed being outside when they’d visited, as I love watching them. Just didn’t want to leave the feeder up too long because I’d also heard what was mentioned above about possibility of them staying too long to migrate, then freezing with the first cold snap. I still have flowers blooming, too. Live about 55 miles south of Jacksonville, so is that still considered North FL?


    Carole Reply:

    Bonnie, They’re still here. I’m a little north of you and saw one yesterday. I find that I usually see them until the middle of October but I leave my feeder out until about December in case I get one that is late in migrating south.


  7. I live in N. Conway NH we put our feeders up on Mothers Day and take them down on Labor Day. (Hope this helps)


  8. I live in Joliet Illinois when do i remove my feeder i know you are not suppose to keep them up to long or you will confuse the bird thanks Karen


    Dan Reply:


    Leave your feeder up through at least mid October. I live in east-central Iowa and that is when I typically see the last hummer. If you don’t mind continuing to clean and refill your feeder, leave it up longer. I leave a feeder up through Thanksgiving because it’s possible a very late straggler will fly over. That late in the year my feeder may be the difference between a late hummer living or dying. I know someone in Wisconsin who, in 2010, had a hummer show up in their yard in late October and stay through mid November.

    Leaving your feeder up will not confuse any birds. That is nothing more than a myth. They know they have to move south for winter and your feeders and flowers are only helping them to achieve that goal.


Leave a Reply