Springtime is here and the weather is warming up, so when should you put your hummingbird feeders outside?

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Photo by Guy Bevan on Unsplash
Photo by Guy Bevan on Unsplash


There's something so special about these sweet little pollinators.  They're so cool to watch because they are so tiny, and their wings flutter so fast that you almost can't see them.  For these reasons, many people like to attract these small birds to their yards to enjoy in the warmer months.   According to Hummingbird Central hummingbirds are only about 3-5 inches in size.

Hummingbirds comprise the family Trochilidae, among the smallest of birds, with most species measuring in the 3"-5" range. They weigh only a few grams.

They feature long slender needlelike bills adapted for reaching deep into tubular flowers to extract nectar.


Things to Consider For Putting Your Hummingbird Feeder Out

So when is the best time to put your hummingbird feeder out to make sure you invite these little pollinators to your yard?  Well, it turns out the answer isn't one size fits all.  In fact due to the hummingbird migration, there are different times to get your feeder out to make sure hummingbirds can find your feeder.

Photo by Dave Sherrill on Unsplash
Photo by Dave Sherrill on Unsplash

According to Hummingbird Central, which tracks the migration of these small birds every year, many hummingbirds spend the winter months in Central America or Mexico, then migrate north for the warmer months.  They typically track the migration from January through May every year, and it's really neat to watch the map fill with hummingbirds.


When to Put Your Hummingbird Feeder out in Kentucky

What I found very interesting is the difference in timeframes to put your hummingbird feeder out.  According to Birdfeeder Hub, the best time to put your hummingbird feeder outside in the Bluegrass State is early to mid-April.  Now if you live in the Hoosier state, you'll want to put your hummingbird feeder out a little later than folks in Kentucky.  More on that, here. 


No Red Dyes Needed in Your Feeder

If you decide you want to put out a hummingbird feeder this year, that's great! There are a few things you need to know though.  It can be tempting to grab the red-dyed nectar you see at the store and dump it in your feeder, but that isn't good for the birds.

Photo by Will Thomas on Unsplash
Photo by Will Thomas on Unsplash

According to HummingbirdSociety.org, the only things you should put in a hummingbird feeder are white cane sugar and water.  That's it. No red dyes are needed, no organic sugar, no brown sugar. ONLY plain white cane sugar and water.

The appropriate mixture is

  • 1 cup of white cane sugar
  • 4 cups of spring water

It is recommended that you change the mixture every 4-5 days, and more frequently if it's really hot outside and when you notice the feeder becomes cloudy.  It is also recommended to wash the feeder every time you change out the mixture.  This can help keep hummingbirds healthy.


Quiz: Do you know your state insect?

Stacker has used a variety of sources to compile a list of the official state insect(s) of each U.S. state, as well as their unique characteristics. Read on to see if you can guess which insect(s) represent your state. 

Gallery Credit: Andrew Vale

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