Hummingbirds are on the Move in the Eastern US!

As Ruby-throated Hummingbirds starts to migrate, expect to see even more at your feeders over the next month.

Rob Ripma

With the warm temperatures outside it may not feel like fall is approaching, but many birds are already beginning their fall migration. In my last post, I wrote about how many species of warblers have already started to migrate, and today I’ll focus on the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds that are frequenting many people’s hummingbird feeders now. I’ve heard from quite a few folks that have with hummingbird feeders that the number of hummingbirds around has increased substantially, and I’ve noticed at my house, too. Hummingbirds are right on schedule migration-wise, and late August is when we typically begin to see more and more hummingbirds in central Indiana. (Keep in mind that the timing will be different depending upon where you live.)

It's amazing to watch Ruby-throated Hummingbirds as they are feeding at flowers! (Photo by Brian Zwiebel/Sabrewing Nature Tours)

It’s amazing to watch Ruby-throated Hummingbirds as they are feeding at flowers! (Photo by Brian Zwiebel/Sabrewing Nature Tours)

It’s hard to imagine that this tiny hummingbird is already on its way to complete what I consider to be a pretty incredible migration. Most of these hummingbirds will migrate down to the Gulf Coast and then are faced with a choice –  fly over the Gulf of Mexico or go around it. In the spring when the birds are in a hurry to get north to their breeding grounds, a huge number of hummingbirds choose to fly over this enormous body of water, but during fall migration when they aren’t in such a hurry, some individuals choose to take the long way. It might take a bit longer, but it’s a much safer option than flying over open water.

Be sure to enjoy all the hummingbirds over the next month or so and also let us know how many have been visiting your feeders!

  1. Judy says

    I have had to put out an extra feeder due to the number. Up till a few days ago I had a rubyneck guarding my one and only feeder. It would sit on my clothesline and chase other birds away. That is when I went and got another feeder. Now I have noticed that the rubyneck bird is no longer around, but it has been replaced by another plain hummer. The same control issue. Have not noticed any one certain bird guarding the other feeder. What is strange to watch is a wasp chasing the humming birds away from the feeder. Live and learn. Love watching these little birds.

  2. says

    I have wonderful pictures this year of hummingbirds thanks to your great advice. They have so many flowers to choose from . 4 have stayed this year. I live in pa.1 st time

  3. says

    I have 4 hammers feeding all day with out fighting because of the wonderful advice I read from your magazine . What a joy. I have waited yrs 4 this & I live in pa. Thank u

    • Lgrace2 says

      Is there something specific you are doing to keep them from fighting? I have 2 feeders and they fight and chase each other off all the time!

  4. Carrie guinn says

    They just arrived this week at my feeders in Omaha, NE. Last year they got here the first week in August and left after the first week in September. I’ve seen three or four this year.

  5. Bonnie Bell says

    My husband & I have noticed an increase in numbers and activity at our hummingbird feeders in the past 2 weeks. I thought they were just fueling up for their migration but did not realize they had already begun. All summer we usually only had 1 bird at feeder early in the morning, afternoon and then right before the sun went down. We have counted about 8-15 birds at feeders(in the past 2 weeks) chasing each other off. I had 3 feeders up this spring when they first arrived(they stay this Spring for several weeks) until the picked their territories. I finally took 1 feeder down during the summer due to decrease activity. I recently added the 3rd one back up due to the increased activity. After a rain storm we had about 2 nights ago I have noticed we only have about 2 hummingbirds again. So I guess the rest of them took off.

  6. Donna Byrd says

    We have had 4 Hummers at our feeders but suddenly yesterday we have two more. They are really fascinating to watch fight over the feeders.

  7. JoAnn says

    I have had 3 feeders up all summer. Since July 25 until present we have been making 4 gallons of nectar a week. I have at least 25+ hummers. I have a nectar factory in my kitchen. I call it hummer wine.

  8. Sharon says

    We have 4 feeders out and have around 30 Hummingbirds here around Marionville, Mo. We have had this many for probably the last 6 years. I love watching them!

  9. Deborah says

    Just in the last few days we have noticed an increase in hummers. I am in Magnolia Texas, nw of Houston.. SE Texas, I have never had so many fighting over the feeeders before. Usually 6 or so at a time and I have 2 feeders out. Having to refill daily. They sometimes will hover almost in our face while we sit on the back porch.. Walking across the yard they almost run into us while chasing each other. Such a thrill to sit and watch them.

  10. Suzzette says

    We have had 6-8 since spring and only 2 feeders; now this evening we counted 26 hummers. There are now 4 feeders and they are full of hummers. I am in Middle Tennessee. We love the hummingbirds!

  11. Christine says

    The date is Sept 11 we have four feeders out and at least five humming birds feeding. We also have six Rose of Sharon bushes still blooming that they live to eat from. I will take the feeders down soon to send them on there way.

  12. says

    We live just outside of Waldron, Arkansas I only had up 2 feeders until 2 weeks ago. I am now making 16 cups of nectar for mine a day. we can count up to 40 at one time. it is just amazing to see this many at a time

  13. cici says

    We have had about 20 this whole year & they keep feeding – we have 4-5 feeders up at a time & they go through 4 pounds of sugar in just over a week!!

  14. Toni Taylor says

    We live in El Paso, TX. Have had feeders for many years. I wondered when the greatest number would be flying through our area during migration. I’ve lived here 4 yrs., but have always had so many birds I didn’t really notice the increase.

  15. Terese says

    I have had dozens of birds all summer long. I had 3 feeders up I took 1 down left the other 2 up and they are going crazy !!!! Yesterday my husband and I were sitting on the porch and there must have been 3 dozen of them going crazy around the feeders!! I just filled them and now I have to fill em again lol

  16. Betsy Wauters, Sugar Mt. NC says

    My adult males left at the end of August and the females about 10 days later. Now I have mostly juveniles cavoring around the flowers and feeders. The youn males have an incomplete gorget. I will miss them when they start south in a week or two.

  17. Becky says

    I live in NE Iowa and have 6 feeders on my deck and I can’t keep up with the dozen plus hummers that are visiting my feeders right now, all females.

  18. says

    All summer I had 15-20 a day, and I went through a lot of sugar a week. Now as of Sept. 12th I am down to 3 females here in Central Kentucky. I sure will miss them, I put my feeders out on April 15th and by Oct. 15th they are gone for the year. I love bird and blooms.

  19. Lynne says

    I’m in Northwest Ohio and am a little jealous, (just a little, lol) of the girls with dozens, 100s even, of the precious little hummers. But I am thankful, so thankful for the dedicated and loyal TWO, only two, I have had all summer that have visited each day. Everyone that visits us get a kick out of seeing them initially (so tiny), and then also love the dynamics of their territorial antics. I’ve named them Squeaky and Beaky because of their individual characteristics and hope SO much they remember to return next year to us. Love the pure joy and entertainment they provide.

  20. Debbie Bennett says

    I have out 10 feeders and here in Southern Mississippi, we are going thru 2 1/2 gallons easy in a day. I love love love the sweet hummingbirds.

  21. Steve Maurer says

    We had a hummingbird pass through our garden last week in South Philadelphia. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it myself!

  22. Debra says

    Any clues how to teach our Hummers how to share well with others? We have about 15 regulars but never more than one at a time on each feeder.. They spend a lot of time chasing each other from the feeders. Love the little guys! :)

  23. Steve Coburn says

    Here in Columbus, MS. I have 3-5 all summer. But now I have up to 60 or so for the two weeks. Can’t count them all. Have 4 feeders and filling some times twice a day. Two gallons of feed in last three days. Looks like some Ruby Throat and some Black Bearded.

  24. Annie says

    I live in Bryan, TX, which is about 90 miles NW of Houston. We have had hummers swarming the past week, going through 2+ quarts of sugar water daily. I’ve seen a few ruby-throated in the bunch, but not anywhere near the numbers as the others.

  25. Barbara Whisman says

    Should I take my feeder down? It’s October 2nd and I still have many feeding. Will they take off on thier own or will they hang around for the feeder? I’m in upper S. C. And we have a cold front coming that is going to be a lot different. I could not stand seeing one hurt.

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