A common question I see is “when do I put out my hummingbird feeder?” Because of migratory patterns of the 17 different species of hummingbirds found in North America, the answer varies from state to state. I’ve compiled a list of all 50 U.S. states below telling you when to put out hummingbird feeders for each state along with some helpful info about the hummingbirds specific to each state.
I have not lived in all of these states so I do not know first hand, but I’ve researched articles, read forum posts, and looked at migration maps to help get some some fairly accurate date ranges. These dates are just estimates though, no one can say for sure when those first hummingbirds will show up from year to year. However based on historical data we can make a pretty good guess when to put your hummingbird feeders out.
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Many of these states are going to have similar or identical dates that I’ll recommend you put out your feeders, due to similar weather patterns, geographic location and migration routes. However there are plenty of regional differences, and this list will make a great reference for many people (including myself).
As a general rule, hummingbirds prefer warmer weather so March – May is going to be a good time to put your feeders out for most states. However, with coastal and southern states like Florida and parts of Texas, or states like Nevada where Anna’s hummingbirds stay year round, you may consider leaving them out all year. Having said that, let’s see if we can get a bit more specific on a state by state basis.
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|State||When to put out feeders|
|Alabama||late April/early May|
|Alaska||late April/early May|
|Arizona||early-mid April or year-round|
|Arkansas||late March/early April|
|California||mid March/early April or year-round|
|Connecticut||late April/early May|
|Delaware||late March/early April|
|Georgia||late February/early March|
|Hawaii||no hummingbirds/banned by state law|
|Illinois||late April/early May|
|Indiana||late April/early May|
|Iowa||late April/early May|
|Louisiana||mid March/early April|
|Maryland||late April/early May|
|Massachusetts||late April/early May|
|Michigan||mid April/early May|
|Mississippi||mid March/early April|
|Montana||late April/mid May|
|Nevada||early April or year-round|
|New Hampshire||early May|
|New Jersey||late April/early May|
|New Mexico||late March/early April|
|New York||late April/early May|
|North Carolina||late March/early April or year-round|
|North Dakota||rare/mid May|
|Oregon||late February/early March|
|Rhode Island||late April/early May|
|South Carolina||mid March or year-round|
|South Dakota||rare/mid May|
|Texas||mid March/early April|
|Utah||late April/early May|
|Washington||late February/early March|
|West Virginia||mid April|
|Wisconsin||late April/early May|
Alabama – About 12 different species of hummingbirds can be found in Alabama. You can find some beginning to approach feeders in late April or early May making that a good time to put out your feeders.
Alaska – One species of hummingbird can be regularly found in parts of southeast and southcentral Alaska, the Rufous Hummingbird. The Rufous is also the most widely distributed hummingbird in North America. However Anna’s and Costa’s Hummingbirds are casual migrants to parts of Alaska. The male Rufous arrives in Alaska in late April to early May with the females arriving a couple of weeks later making this a good time to put out your feeders.
Arizona – As many as 17 species of hummers can be found in Arizona or passing through the state each year. Due to the warm climate, some species such as Anna’s hummingbird may reside in parts of Arizona year round. Because of this, you can leave out your feeders all year as long as they are still using your feeders, but the majority of species found here will migrate into the state in April or May making anytime in these months the perfect time to put out your feeders.
Arkansas – There are about 9 species of hummingbirds that can be found in Arkansas during the warmer weather, mid to late March or early April is a good time to put out your feeders. Just keep an eye on the temperature and don’t put them out if it’s still too cold.
California – Because of the warmer climate in parts of the state, as many as 14 different species of hummingbirds have been reported in California. Being a coastal state, many of these species will hang around the whole year, especially in Southern California. However if you don’t want to keep your feeders out year round then mid March to early April is the ideal time to put your feeders back out in most of the state.
Colorado – Just 4 species of hummingbirds can be found in Colorado, the most common if which is the Broad-Tailed Hummingbird. In Colorado, you can put your feeders up in mid April and leave them up until about mid October.
Connecticut – There are 5-6 different species of hummingbirds that make their way through the small state of Connecticut each year, but Ruby-throated and Rufous are the 2 native species. Go ahead and put your feeders out in this area of the country in late April to early May. One of our writers for this site puts hers out in CT the first week of May and sees some right around that time.
Delaware – There are 4 hummingbirds in Delaware; Allen’s, Rufous, Ruby-throated, and Broad-tailed. Usually mid to late April is when hummers start showing up around here, but some people report seeing them as early as late March so put your feeders out at your discretion based on the temperature and weather.
Florida – Florida is different from other states in that different parts of Florida will have completely different times to put out your hummingbird feeders. The panhandle will see very few hummers through the summer months but along with areas of south Florida will have much more activity in the winter months. While other areas of central and north central Florida will have hummingbirds active from early March (sometimes February) through September. Three species can be found in Florida, these are Ruby-throated, Rufous, and Black-chinned.
Georgia – According to this website that focuses on the study of Georgia hummingbirds, a dozen different species have been recorded in the state up to now. Like Florida though, Georgia has winter and summer hummers as well as some that stay all year. So most areas of Georgia have some species active at all times of the year. Ruby-throated, the native breeders to the state, arrive in late February and early March so have your feeders out then.
Hawaii – There are no hummingbirds in Hawaii. Additionally they are banned by state law. Why you might ask? Because of the pineapple industry in Hawaii. The hummingbirds would pollinate the pineapple flowers causing the fruit to have seeds which is considered undesirable.
Idaho – Eight species of hummingbirds have been reported in Idaho. You can hang your feeders here starting in early to mid April. Although rare, it’s not unheard of for Anna’s hummingbirds to stick around through the winter in some parts of the state.
Illinois – With about 5 species of hummers that are regularly active in the state, it is the ruby-throated hummers that make up a large portion of the hummingbirds in the state. They tend to show up in parts of the state in early May making mid to late April a great time to go ahead and put feeders out.
Indiana – As with other states in this region, mid to late April is a great time to put out the feeders because this is around when the ruby-throated hummers migrate into the area. There are 3 regular species of hummers known to frequent Indiana; Ruby-throated, Black-chinned, and of course the Rufous hummingbirds that seem to be everywhere. There are a couple of other species that make an appearance from time to time such as Anna’s, but for the most part the first 3 mentioned are what to expect.
Iowa – Ruby-throated are really the only regulars to the state of Iowa, however several other species have been reported as making rare appearances in the state such as the well travelled Rufous hummingbird which usually does not migrate as far east as Iowa. Put your feeders out in Iowa in late April to early May.
Kansas – As with Iowa Ruby-throated are by far the most commonly seen hummers in Kansas. In fact, Ruby-throated hummingbirds account for as much as 99% of the hummingbird sightings in the eastern half of the United States. Consider putting your feeders out in Kansas as early as mid April.
Kentucky – As with most states, the Ruby-throated is the most common here, the Rufous and Black-chinned can be spotted rarely though. The Ruby-throated hummers begin arriving in the state of Kentucky in early to mid April most years but occasionally you can see some early arrivals as early as late March. Based on that info, early to mid April is a good time to put out your feeders here.
Louisiana – As many as a dozen different species of hummingbirds have been reported in Louisiana. Most though are just vagrants/passing through aside from the Ruby-throated which usually make their way into the state as early as mid to late March with the majority in early to mid April, making sometime in this date range the best time to put out feeders.
Maine – The Ruby-throated and Rufous hummingbirds both arrive in Maine in the first week of May most years. There are a couple of other vagrant breeds, such as the elusive white hummingbirds, that can be occasionally seen in New England but for the most part Ruby’s are the most common with Rufous coming in a distant second. Put your feeders out in early May for most of New England.
Maryland – As with Maine, Ruby-throated and Rufous are the natives here and any other species are rare and just passing through. Early May or even sometimes late April is when they start showing up making it the best time to start hanging feeders.
Massachusetts – Again just echoing the other New England states but hummingbird feeders can be put out in Massachusetts in late April or early May as that’s when both the Ruby-throated (most common) and the Rufous hummingbirds migrate back to the area.
Michigan – The Ruby-throated is the only species that calls Michigan home for some months out of the year. Other species such as the Rufous may pass through Michigan and be seen occasionally. You can put your hummingbird feeders out in mid April to early May since this is when the Ruby-throated hummers begin to show back up each spring.
Minnesota – The male Ruby-throated hummingbirds, which arrive in Minnesota a couple of weeks before the females, will first start showing up in Minnesota the first week of May making this the best time to put out your feeders. They will start their migration back south towards the end of September.
Mississippi – Ten species have been reported in Mississippi, but the Ruby-throated is the only species known to breed east of the Mississippi River and by far the most common in the state. They start to arrive in Mississippi in mid March to mid April so anytime in this range is a good time to put out your feeders. This article goes in depth about Mississippi hummingbirds.
Missouri – As the only native breeding hummingbird species in the state, the Ruby-throated hummers start arriving in the state to nest in early April with their peak season being in mid to late May. This makes anytime after early April a good time to put out your hummingbird feeders in Missouri.
Montana – We have 4 native breeders in Montana, and none of them are Ruby-throated believe it or not. They are: Black-chinned, Anna’s, Rufous, and Calliope hummingbirds. For the most part they all start arriving as early as late April into mid May, also when you should put out your feeders.
Nebraska – Ruby-throated can be seen in the eastern half of the state only and will breed along the very eastern edge of the state along the Missouri River. In the western part of the state Rufous hummingbirds can be seen in the fall only, but are not as common. If you’re in the eastern part of the state, put your feeders out in mid May as that’s when the Ruby-throated are arriving.
Nevada – Nevada has 9 species of hummingbirds that have been reported in the state, 5 of which are native breeders. These 5 species are Anna’s (year round), Costa’s, Black-chinned, Calliope, and Broad-tailed hummingbirds. Rufous hummingbirds are seasonal migrants and can regularly be seen in the state from March to May. Since Anna’s hummingbirds stick around all year, you can leave your feeders out all year long in Nevada. The Black-chinned start arriving in April and the Calliopes start arriving in mid May.
New Hampshire – Ruby-throated is the only breeding species found in New Hampshire. They arrive the first week of May. The Rufous and Calliope hummingbird, Calliopes being the smallest North American breeding bird, are considered rare/non-breeding in New Hampshire but are sighted very occasionally. As with the rest of New England, the first week of May is usually the best time to put out your feeders.
New Jersey – As with New Hampshire, Ruby-throated and less common Rufous are the two hummers in New Jersey. They will start arriving in late April and early May and will start leaving in late September to early October. We recommend you put your hummingbird feeders out in New Jersey in late April or early May each year.
New Mexico – New Mexico has a large variety of hummingbirds each year, 17 different species to be exact. Most of which are just passing through on their migration trail, but a few species stick around to breed like the Blue-throated hummingbirds. Hummingbirds can be seen all over the state of New Mexico, especially in the summer and in the southern parts of the state. Migrating hummingbirds pass through during the spring migration starting in late March to early April making this the best time to put out your feeders.
New York – Ruby-throated hummers are native to and breed in New York state each year. They will begin to show up in early May, usually the first week. You can put your feeders out then or even the last week of April if you want to catch some early arrivals in the spring.
North Carolina – The Ruby-throated hummingbirds start showing up in North Carolina in late March or early April, they are also the only breeding species in the state. While most Ruby-throated do fly south around late September, it’s not a bad idea to leave feeders up during the winter if you want, some may stick around for the winter. You may also see an occasional Rufous hummingbird during the colder months.
North Dakota – Hummingbirds are not terribly common in North Dakota. The only species that you might see here is the Ruby-throated during early spring and late summer migration times and only in the eastern half of the state. You may not have any luck seeing them at feeders but if you want to put one out, I’d say sometime in May or September will be your best shot.
Ohio – By mid to late April Ruby-throated hummers have started migrating into Ohio, making this the perfect time to put out your feeders. Very rarely a Rufous or Calliope is spotted in the state.
Oklahoma – There are two nesting species of hummingbirds in Oklahoma, Black-chinned and Ruby-throated. Rufous hummingbirds migrate through the state in the spring and fall. Place your hummingbird feeders out in Oklahoma right around mid April and leave them out until late October.
Oregon – According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, 7 species of hummingbirds visit Oregon at various times of the year with Rufous and Allen’s being the most common. Consider putting your hummingbird feeders out in late February to early March in Oregon. However, if you live in western Oregon you may want to consider leaving your feeders out all year as Anna’s hummingbirds are year round residents in this part of the state.
Pennsylvania – Ruby-throated are native breeders in Pennsylvania and Rufous are occasional visitors to the state. Reports of Ruby-throated usually start coming in as early as late March but early to mid April is a better estimate of when the males will start arriving. You can put your feeders out in late March if you want to catch some early arrivals but mid April is probably the best time.
Rhode Island – Hang your feeders in late April or the first week of May in Rhode Island as that’s about when both the Ruby-throated and some Rufous hummingbirds will start migrating back into the state for the season.
South Carolina – We suggest you put your hummingbird feeders back out in mid March each year since this is about the time that the Ruby-throated hummers start showing back. However, according to one source, you may get activity all year if you leave them out through the colder months as well.
South Dakota – Hummingbirds are somewhat rare in South Dakota with Ruby-throated being the only species found in the state. They are only seen in the eastern half of the state and will arrive sometime in May for the breeding season, so put your feeders out then.
Tennessee – The earliest spring hummingbirds will usually start to show up in late March in Tennessee. You’re probably more likely to start seeing them in numbers around early to mid April so any time around these date ranges is best to put out your feeders in Tennessee. Ruby-throated are the most common in Tennessee with Rufous also being regular visitors to the state.
Texas – Texas is a very large state and is in the south-central part of the country putting the state right in a big migration path. Because of that, as many as 17 different species of hummingbirds can be found in the state each year. A few of these are Buff-bellied, Broad-billed, Blue-throated, Magnificent, Ruby-throated, Rufous, and Black-chinned hummingbirds. Anytime in mid March into early April is a great time to put out hummingbird feeders in Texas.
Utah – A few common species of hummers found in Utah are Rufous, Black-chinned, Costa’s, and Broad-billed. Put your feeders out in late April or early May in Utah as this is when migrating hummingbirds will start arriving.
Vermont – Two species of hummingbirds have been reported in Vermont, Rufous and more commonly Ruby-throated. Since Vermont is in New England, the first week of May is the best time of year to put out your hummingbird feeders.
Virginia – Ruby-throated hummingbirds start arriving in Virginia in mid April, so go ahead and put your feeders out then. Rufous hummingbirds are also somewhat common in Virginia and can be seen around the same time as the Ruby’s each year.
Washington – While the best time to see hummingbirds in Washington state is in late summer, especially August, they start arriving in the state much earlier. The Rufous hummingbirds will start showing up as soon as late February and early March. Anna’s hummingbirds reside in the state year round although they tend to stay to the western part of the state during the winter. So if you choose to bring the feeders in for the winter, you should put them back out in early March as this is when the majority will start arriving in the state.
West Virginia – While there have been reports of some vagrants passing through the state in the past, Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the only natives to West Virginia. They begin arriving in the state near mid April so put your feeders out then.
Wisconsin – Ruby-throated are the only natives to Wisconsin and usually start showing up the first week of May, with some early arrivals in late April. Put your feeders out in this date range.
Wyoming – The two main types of hummers you might see in Wyoming are Broad-tailed and Rufous Hummingbirds. Not as common species reported in the state are the Calliope and Black-chinned Hummingbirds. They will begin arriving in early to mid May each year so have your feeders out by then.
If you have found your state and are ready to put your feeders out but aren’t sure about making nectar, we wrote an article for a quick DIY hummingbird nectar. Here’s another article about how often to clean hummingbird feeders you might want to check out.