Best time to travel to Georgia

Hummingbird Migration

Some of the zippy little guys visit the Peach State between spring and fall, while others stay here over winter

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Last updated: by Olha Savych
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Whenever you come to Georgia, you can count on an encounter with some of the world's tiniest birds. Early March yields the arrival of ruby-throated hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris), the native breeders. Some nest in the Southeast, but the majority migrate further north and all the way up to the Canadian border. For some ruby-throats, breeding season is over already in July, and the earliest southbound migrators set off to Mexico. The last stragglers are seen in the state in mid-October, with rare exceptions that remain in Georgia year-round, but hummingbird migration doesn't end at this point.

Wintering hummers might arrive as early as August and stay through March or April. Yet most congregate here between mid-November and December. Rufous hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus) and a range of rare vagrants commonly show up at backyard feeders during the season.

You never know where exactly to search for a much desired glimpse of these little buzz-birds. The capital city of Atlanta and nearby cities such as Decatur and Roswell record regular sightings. However, you could view hummingbirds anywhere across the state. The wisest decision would be to put out a feeder in your garden. Fill it with sugar water: 1/4 cup of sugar mixed with a cup of water, without any other sweeteners or red dyes. The feeder needs regular cleaning and refilling, especially in warmer weather.

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