Winter Hummers

Female Lucifer hummingbird. Photo credit: Mark Klym

Female Lucifer hummingbird. Photo credit: Mark Klym

This is Passport to Texas

Fall hummingbird migration peaked in mid September, and spring migration won’t peak until February. Until then what’s a hummingbird lover to do—just wait?

08—Not at all. A lot of people will take their feeders down in October, and that’s really one of the worst things you can do, because we get hummingbirds here in Texas all year round.

Mark Klym coordinates the Hummingbird Roundup, an ongoing citizen survey of backyard hummers. Some birds, he says, arrive in late summer and stay until spring.

09—They’re not going to go down into Mexico. And so, we can keep them fed and keep them sheltered, and if we have the right habitat, we can enjoy hummingbirds 365 days a year.

You may see ruby-throats and black-chins in winter, but the Rufus and Buff bellies are more numerous in the colder months, and if your landscape has plenty of trees and shrubs, you may see some this winter. Just remember to keep your feeders refreshed and thawed.

20—During the winter, it’s a good idea to increase the number of feeders that you have. Continue with that typical, one part sugar, four parts water solution—no red food coloring, please; that’s not good for the birds. If we get a snow, which has happened a few times—yeah, you have to go out there and brush that snow off and get those feeders opened up. The birds need them; as soon as they wake up that’s where they’re going to head—for those feeders.

Find more hummingbird information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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