The family of the tiniest birds consists of 360 species. Three of them are regularly seen in Oklahoma. The most common are ruby-throated and the black-chinned hummingbirds. These two species stay in the state the longest due to breeding and nesting. They can be spotted during the warmer time of the year. Hummingbird season in Oklahoma runs approximately from mid-April up to October. The third species, rufous hummingbirds, pass Oklahoma during their migration and can only be seen during spring and autumn.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are often spotted in the eastern part of the state, near Tulsa and Muskogee, especially in Honor Heights Park. They also appear near Oklahoma City. The males are easily recognizable due to bright ruby throats and emerald feathers. Female ruby-throated hummers look more modest with grey to white feathers. They prefer to nest in forests, on deciduous trees.
The black-chinned hummingbirds are most common in the western and southwestern parts of the state, especially near the cities of Lawton and Altus. Males are easily identified by their distinct black throat and iridescent purple base. Females have a more pale coloring with green feathers and white tips on their tails. Black-chinned hummingbirds live in lowland deserts and even urban gardens with plenty of flowers.
When do hummingbirds come to Oklahoma
Hummingbirds arrive in Oklahoma in early spring, around the first half of April. Males usually return first, followed by females in two weeks. Ruby-throated and black-chinned hummingbirds stay for breeding and nesting through the whole summer.
When do hummingbirds leave Oklahoma
Hummingbirds return to their wintering grounds in Central America in September. The males are typically the first to leave, while females and younger birds start their migration in mid-September.
When to put out hummingbird feeders in Oklahoma
The best time to put out hummingbird feeders filled with sugary water is mid-April. To make the syrup, add one part sugar to four parts of hot water. Hummingbirds are fun to watch. They get very competitive and sometimes even aggressive near feeders as these birds usually defend their feeding territories in nature. If you spot many hummingbirds in your garden, you may need a few feeders. It's best to clean the feeder and change the solution at least twice per week. The feeders should be maintained till mid- or late October to sustain the juvenile birds, who are usually the last to complete the 500-mile (800-km) migration.