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Hummingbirds in Michigan

You can easily seduce a couple of tiny nectar drinking birds to your backyard with feeders or suitable blooms

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Hummingbirds in Michigan are numerous during the ruby-throated hummers' (Archilochus colubris) breeding season, roughly May through August. This species widely nests in Northeast and southern Canada and is the only regular hummer in the Great Lake State. Other less common Michigan hummingbirds include rufous (Selasphorus rufus), broad-billed (Cynanthus latirostris), green violet-ear (Colibri thalassinus), and white-eared (Basilinna leucotis) hummingbirds. Read more about local species here.

When do hummingbirds leave Michigan

Ruby-throated hummingbirds migrate from Michigan between late August and early September. This time of year is when hummers are most active, fattening up in a feeding frenzy before they are off for warmer Mexican and Central American climates. Some migrators stop at the Gulf Coast of the US and winter in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. Males leave before females and juveniles, leaving them with more food stocks.

When do hummingbirds return to the state

The native ruby-throats come back to Michigan in the first week of May. Again, males arrive first and establish their feeding territories. The hummingbird migration to Michigan is incredible—the tiny critters weigh only 0.1 oz (3 g) but can fly for 1,500 mi (2,400 km), including a 20-hour non-stop flight above the Gulf of Mexico. Nature blessed them with appropriate superpowers, including a rapid wingbeat (the remarkable 80 flaps per second) and heart rate (1,250 beats per minute when active).

When to put out hummingbird feeder in Michigan

Although the majority arrive in May, you may hang feeders in your yard as early as mid-April to assist the earliest arrivals with food supplies. Make a sweet nectar-like drink of granulated sugar dissolved in water (ratio 1:4) and fill the feeder to 1/3 capacity. In May, the basin can be half full, and later when the season swells, you can pour more sugar water. Keep an eye on your feeding sites to clean and refill them in time to prevent mold.

When to stop feeding hummingbirds

Hummers leave in late August and early September, but you may want to leave your feeders 1/3 full for a few more weeks just in case any straggler pays a late visit to your garden. Make sure that two weeks have passed since your last sighting before you stop topping up the bird feeder.

Flowers that attract hummingbirds

Hummers' favorite plants include fuchsias, petunias, begonias, impatiens, geraniums, honeysuckle, and butterfly bushes. In the long perspective, cultivating hummingbird flowers and shrubs is an excellent alternative to artificial nectar in bright feeders. The little avian friends will find blooming treats even in the largest and most populous cities such as Detroit, Ann Arbor, or Grand Rapids.

Practical info

When do hummingbirds leave Michigan?

Between late August and early September.

When do hummingbirds return to Michigan?

Most come n the first week of May, but the earliest arrivals could be in mid-April.

When to put out hummingbird feeder in Michigan?

In mid-April filled to 1/3 capacity; in May filled halfway.

When to stop feeding hummingbirds in Michigan?

In late August and early September (two weeks after the last sighting).

Flowers that attract hummingbirds in Michigan

Fuchsias, petunias, begonias, impatiens, geraniums, honeysuckle, and butterfly bushes.

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