[CT Birds] How long to keep hummingbird feeders up

Roy Harvey rmharvey at snet.net
Sat Sep 6 20:39:49 EDT 2014

The CT state checklist* already includes a few hummingbirds besides our breeding Ruby-throated: Broad-billed Hummingbird, Calliope Hummingbird and Rufous Hummingbird.  Others are possible!  Massachusetts also has Black-chinned Hummingbird.  New York has Anna's Hummingbird.  New Jersey has Broad-tailed Hummingbird.  Such strays tend to occur outside the usual season for Ruby-throated, and often they are only seen because they use feeders kept up and filled by optimistic bird lovers.  With that in mind, why not keep at least one feeder up until, perhaps, the end of Christmas Bird Count season, January 5th?

New hummingbirds will be added to the CT list over time.  Wouldn't it be fun if one was yours?


Roy Harvey
Beacon Falls, CT

From: Katherine Kuckens via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
To: "ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org" <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> 
Sent: Saturday, September 6, 2014 6:37 PM
Subject: [CT Birds] How long to keep hummingbird feeders up

Last year (or the year before?) I had a female arrive in September. She
visited my nectar feeders at dusk every day.  Only hummer I saw.  In
October I was getting concerned about her, and in November I started
talking to her about leaving.  Then there was a cold snap and I was really
worried.  But I saw her one more time and then she was gone.

Later I read here that sometimes  juveniles, making the trip south for the
first time, might get lost or tired, and having nectar feeders out could
save their lives.  I believe she was tiny and frail when she arrived, but
as the days went on, she was bolder, tamer, and perhaps fatter.  Hopefully
I provided her with rest and recovery and time to gain strength for the
next leg (or wing) of the journey.

So keep your hummingbird feeders up til they freeze -- cleaned and freshly
refilled often -- you might be the rest stop they need!

Kat Kuckens
West Hartford
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