When is it time to stop feeding hummingbirds?Now that the fall migration has started for some birds, when is the best time to stop feeding hummingbirds?
By: Department of Natural Resources, Alexandria Echo Press
The following is the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' "Question of the Week."
Question: Now that the fall migration has started for some birds, when is the best time to stop feeding hummingbirds? If a nectar feeder (sugar water) is available, will they fail to migrate to their wintering sites?
Answer: Hummingbird migration is triggered by the photoperiod, or the number of daylight hours, not by the availability of food. Many people fear that hummingbirds will fail to migrate south if feeders are left out in the fall. This is not true. Hummingbirds will migrate when it’s time to go, regardless of the presence or absence of feeders.
Fall is a great time to feed birds if you know how to attract migratory birds in addition to the permanent residents that visit your feeders year-round. The best way to feed birds is to adjust the food and feeders with each changing season.
To get the latest tips on fall bird feeding, check out the DNR’s website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/birdfeeding
--Lori Naumann, DNR nongame wildlife specialist