Best time to travel to Michigan

Hummingbirds in Michigan

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

Hummingbirds in Michigan
Hummingbirds in Michigan
Female ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) feeding from an obedient plant

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 is when hummingbirds leave Michigan to fly to warmer Mexican and Central American climates. Males leave before female birds and juveniles. Some hummingbirds stop at the Gulf Coast of the US and spend winter in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. Before leaving, hummingbirds often fatten up with a feeding frenzy in preparation for their migration. Show more

When do hummingbirds return to the state?

Michigan already has the arrival of native ruby-throated hummingbirds in the first week of May. The male birds are the first ones to arrive and establish feeding territories. The hummingbirds are capable of long-distance travel, including an impressive 20-hour non-stop flight above the Gulf of Mexico. They make an incredible journey using their rapid wingbeat and heart rate. Show more

When to put out hummingbird feeder in Michigan?

To aid the earliest arrivals with food supplies, you can hang hummingbird feeders in your yard as early as mid-April. You have to fill the feeder with a sweet nectar-like drink consisting of granulated sugar dissolved in water (ratio 1:4) to 1/3 of the basin. By May, you can fill the basin halfway. As the hummingbird population gets thick, you can put additional sugar water. Show more

When to stop feeding hummingbirds?

Leaving the feeders 1/3 full for several weeks after hummingbirds have fledged in late August and early September is recommended in case any slow-pokes visit your garden. Do not stop filling the feeder until at least two weeks after you notice the last sighting to ensure that all the hummingbirds have migrated and none are left stranded. Show more

What are some unique hummingbird species found in Michigan?

Michigan hosts other hummingbird species besides the native ruby-throated. The rufous, broad-billed, green violet-ear, and white-eared hummingbirds are just some examples, although they are less frequently observed. These birds might be seen in gardens, nature reserves, or parks by visitors who are keen to catch a glimpse. Show more

Where are some good locations to spot hummingbirds in Michigan?

Hummingbirds can be seen in Michigan wherever there are flowering plants and feeders. Private gardens, nature reserves, and parks like the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids and Belle Isle Park in Detroit are just a few well-known places where tourists can see these tiny birds. Spotting them hovering, flying in place, and sipping nectar is a delightful sight. Show more

Where can I buy hummingbird feeders and nectar in Michigan?

Hummingbird feeders and nectar are widely available at garden centers, pet stores, and online retail sites in Michigan. Wild Birds Unlimited, PetSmart, and Rural King are some popular brands. You can produce your sweet nectar or expand hummingbird-friendly plants in your garden in addition to purchasing equipment. Show more

What should I do if ants or bees swarm around my hummingbird feeder?

Ants and bees are regular visitors to hummingbird feeders and can be managed easily by using ant guards and bee guards. Ant guards are small saucers filled with water that you place under your feeder. On the other hand, bee guards are attachments to the feeder's feeding ports that discourage bees from entering. You may also select feeders that have bee-resistant designs. Show more

What are some other interesting bird species that I can spot in Michigan?

Aside from hummingbirds, Michigan houses a diverse range of bird species. Some popular birding sites and species include Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore's Piping Plover, the Great Lakes Piping Plover along Lake Michigan, and the songbirds at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. Observers may also spot Bald Eagles, Eastern Bluebirds, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, to name a few. Show more

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near Hummingbirds in Michigan (Map)

Last updated: by Olha Savych