You Don’t Have to Stop Putting Food Out for Hummingbirds in Fall
Maybe you've never heard the old commandment before, but it has rolled my direction a number of times. Normally, it's from a well-intentioned older lady who'll say, "Make sure you stop putting out the sugar water for those hummingbirds in the Fall or they won't migrate south and they'll freeze to death when our temperatures drop."
Turns out it's a complete "old wives' tale" or "urban myth." In fact, the premier outdoor experts in the world, the Audubon society, addressed this very issue on their website.
In regards to the question of whether you need to take down those feeders in the Fall, they respond with:
You can leave your feeders out for as long as you have hummingbirds around. You can even continue to provide the feeder after your hummingbirds disappear—late migrants or out-of-range species can show up into early winter.
And for those who might be afraid our fast flying little friends might hang around too long and freeze when the weather turns?
No, hummingbirds are migratory species and are genetically programmed to head south in the fall. It’s not a lack of nectar source or colder weather that makes them leave—they know it’s time based on changes in the length of the day and the angle of the sun.
So, if you were like me and afraid that your well intentions might actually be the cause of death for some of these little boogers, rest assured they know when it's time to start heading even further South.
Course, you'll want to put those feeders back out by late February to be ready for next year's arrivals!