The sight of hummingbirds fluttering around a garden is a magical experience. Every year, the beautiful rufous hummingbirds and ruby-throated hummingbirds arrive from their wintering grounds in Central America to Minnesota for their annual breeding season. To witness their majestic aerial acrobatics and prepare for the arrival of these avian marvels, birdwatchers should plan ahead and properly set up nectar feeders for them.
Read on to find out more about Minnesota’s hummingbird season, what other types of hummingbirds you might see in the state when they usually leave, where they go after departing Minnesota, and how to attract hummingbirds’ wonders to your own backyard!
When Do Hummingbirds Arrive In Minnesota?
The ruby-throated hummingbird is the most common species of hummingbird in Minnesota and they usually arrive around mid-April. By the end of April, their numbers have increased to full force, so expect to see a lot of these birds fluttering about at that time. However, if you live in northern Minnesota, you may not see them until early May. Other types of hummingbirds, such as rufous and Anna’s hummingbirds, usually show up even later and are typically seen between late April and early June.
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How To Prepare For Hummingbird Season?
To attract more of these beautiful creatures to your backyard and make sure they stick around for the season, it is important to properly prepare for the arrival of Minnesota’s hummingbirds.
Setting Up Hummingbird Feeders:
The most important thing to do is set up hummingbird feeders. This will provide them with a consistent source of food and water, making it easier for them to survive during their breeding season in Minnesota. Make sure you place the feeders at least six feet off the ground and in an area that gets plenty of sunlight throughout the day.
To make sure your hummingbird visitors have enough energy, be sure to fill the feeders with nectar made from four parts water and one part sugar. You can also buy premade nectar mixes from local pet stores.
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Observing And Identifying Minnesota’s Hummingbirds
Ruby-throated and Rufous Hummingbirds are the most common types of hummingbirds in Minnesota. The males of these species have bright, colorful feathers while the female hummingbirds are usually brownish-gray with some white and red streaks. Both sexes have long, slender bills and an iridescent throat patch that is visible when they fan out their neck feathers.
Male ruby-throated hummingbirds are typically larger than females and can be identified by their brightly colored plumage and distinctive red throats. They also usually have a black face mask which makes them stand out from other birds. Female ruby-throated hummingbirds are slightly smaller but still easily recognizable due to their unique coloring.
Rufous Hummingbirds are less common in Minnesota but can still be spotted during the summer months. They are slightly larger than ruby-throated hummingbirds with more brightly colored feathers and a brownish back. The males have an orange-red throat patch while the females have a grayish-brown throat patch.
Calliope Hummingbirds can be seen in certain parts of Minnesota, such as the Boundary Waters and northern regions near Canada during the summer months. These birds are small but easy to identify due to their colorful plumage, which includes red throats and bright green upper bodice feathers with white spots on their backsides.
Rivoli’s Hummingbirds are rarely spotted in Minnesota but can sometimes be found in southern areas near rivers or lakes during the summer months. These birds look similar to ruby-throated hummingbirds but are larger and more brightly colored. The males have an iridescent red throat patch while the females have a white throat patch.
By providing food, water, and shelter for Minnesota’s hummingbirds, you can attract even more of these tiny winged wonders to your own backyard! Keep in mind that these birds migrate south during the winter months so don’t forget to take down your feeders before they leave. With some preparation and luck, you may be able to provide a safe haven for hummingbirds throughout the year!
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When Do Most Hummingbirds Leave Minnesota?
Most hummingbirds leave Minnesota in September or October when they start their fall migration southwards towards their wintering grounds in Central America. However, some of them may stay longer and leave in November or early December.
Where Do The Hummingbirds Go After They Leave?
Most hummingbirds migrate south after they leave Minnesota, but some may go further west to California or even as far north as Alaska. During their journey, they will take rest stops at feeders along the way to make sure they have enough energy for their flight.
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How To Help Preserve Hummingbirds?
Hummingbirds are beautiful, delicate creatures that need our help to survive. As their natural habitats decline and they become more endangered, it is important to understand how we can help protect them. There are several simple steps that everyone can take to ensure the preservation of these beloved birds.
Plant Native Trees And Plants
One way to help protect hummingbirds is by planting native trees and plants in your garden or yard. By planting native species, you can attract hummingbirds, providing them with a safe place for food and rest. Not only will this help preserve their population, but also it will provide a much-needed source of nectar for them as well. Additionally, if you’re able to avoid using pesticides or other chemicals in your garden space, this will create an even healthier environment for the birds.
Provide Clean Water Sources
Another way to help preserve hummingbirds is by providing clean water sources throughout the year. Providing water sources such as bird baths or shallow dishes filled with water can be beneficial not only for hummingbirds but also for other local wildlife. Keeping these sources clean and free from debris is especially important as it reduces the risk of disease transmission among the birds. Make sure to change out any standing water every few days and keep dishes refilled with fresh water regularly during periods of extreme heat or drought when there may be limited access to natural bodies of water.
Reduce Light Pollution At Night
Hummingbirds require darkness at night in order to rest properly; therefore it’s important to reduce light pollution in areas where they live by turning off unnecessary lights after dark or using motion-activated lights instead. This helps keep their habitats dark and quiet so that they can get the rest they need without distractions from artificial lighting sources. Reducing light pollution isn’t just beneficial for hummingbird preservation; it helps all types of wildlife too!
Hummingbirds are an integral part of our ecosystem; however, due to the destruction of habitat and increased threats from predators and humans, their numbers have been steadily declining over recent decades. Taking proactive steps such as planting native trees and plants in our gardens, providing clean water sources throughout the year, and reducing light pollution at night–all small steps we can take–can make a huge difference when it comes to preserving these beautiful creatures for generations to come!
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Minnesota’s hummingbirds are beautiful, fascinating creatures that can bring life to your backyard. By providing food, water, and shelter for these birds you can attract them during their breeding season in the spring and summer months. With a bit of luck, you may even be able to provide a safe haven for hummingbirds throughout the year!
With some preparation and knowledge about where they go after they leave Minnesota, you will be one step closer to becoming an expert on the migration patterns of our state’s most beloved avian visitors. So start observing and enjoying these amazing birds today.