Hummingbirds are amazing creatures that travel long distances each year. In Alabama, the ruby-throated hummingbird is the most common species.
They come all the way from Canada and the northeastern United States to spend winter in Mexico and Central America.
Now, when do these hummingbirds leave Alabama? Well, the exact timing can vary because of the weather and individual differences, but in general, most of them start leaving in late August or early September. By the end of October, almost all of them had gone.
The Hummingbird Species in Alabama
There are 9 species of hummingbirds that have been documented in Alabama, but the most common and most colorful hummingbird is the ruby-throated hummingbird.
These hummingbirds migrate from Canada and the northeastern United States to spend the winter in Mexico and Central America.
The other hummingbird species that have been seen in Alabama include:
- Rufous Hummingbird
- Black-chinned hummingbird
- Calliope hummingbird
- Broad-tailed hummingbird
- Broad-billed hummingbird
- Buff-bellied hummingbird
- Anna’s hummingbird
- Blue-throated mountain-gem
- Rivoli’s hummingbird
- Mexican violetear
When Do Hummingbirds Leave Alabama?
Hummingbird migration time can vary due to weather and individual differences, but generally, they begin leaving Alabama in late August or early September. By the end of October, most have departed the state.
Where Do Hummingbirds Go Once They Leave Alabama?
When hummingbirds leave Alabama, they embark on an incredible journey.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds bred in Alabama head to Mexico and Central America, covering more than 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico without stopping.
Other hummingbird species spotted in Alabama also migrate to warmer regions during winter.
When Do Hummingbirds Come Back to Alabama?
Hummingbirds are expert navigators with precise timing. They come back to Alabama in early spring, usually in March or April, as the weather gets warmer and nectar becomes abundant.
This return heralds the arrival of spring, and they’re all set to bring vibrancy to our gardens.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds typically return in late March or early April, drawn by the warmer climate and blooming flowers.
Other hummingbird species seen in Alabama also make their spring return.
The Importance of Migration
Hummingbirds migrate to search for both food and warmer weather.
In the fall, as the amount of available food decreases and temperatures cool down in Alabama, they need to find a warm place to spend the winter.
Signs of Hummingbird Migration
There are a few signs that indicate that hummingbirds are starting to migrate. These signs include:
- The hummingbirds start to become more active.
- They start to gather in flocks.
- They start to build up fat reserves.
- They may start to migrate south.
Do Hummingbirds Return to the Same Place Every Year in Alabama?
Yes, hummingbirds do return to the same place every year in Alabama. They have a very good memory for their home range and their feeders.
Reasons Behind Their Migration
Hummingbirds migrate for a couple of key reasons. The top one is to locate food. When fall comes, there’s less food in Alabama, so they have to discover a spot where they can eat all year.
Another reason is to seek out warmer weather. As the temperatures cool down in Alabama during fall, hummingbirds need to find a cozy place to stay warm.
Tips for Attracting Hummingbirds Before They Leave?
If you want to attract hummingbirds to your yard before they leave for the winter, there are a few things you can do. These include:
- Put up a hummingbird feeder.
- Plant hummingbird-friendly flowers.
- Provide a source of water.
- Keep your yard free of pesticides.
By following these tips, you can attract hummingbirds to your yard and enjoy their beauty for the rest of the summer.
When hummingbirds leave Alabama, it’s a remarkable natural event. It reminds us of their amazing journeys. By knowing how they move and helping them, we can keep enjoying their beauty. So, cherish their time with us now and look forward to welcoming them back when the seasons shift.