Should I stop feeding birds in fall so they can start their migration?

April 1, 2009
There is no reason to take your feeders down to encourage birds to migrate. They will also be a welcome resource for birds arriving from the North. Photo by Linda Goodman via Birdshare. There is no reason to take your feeders down to encourage birds to migrate. They will also be a welcome resource for birds arriving from the North like these Evening Grosbeak. Photo by Linda Goodman via Birdshare.
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Keeping your feeders up has no influence on whether a bird will start its journey south. A number of factors trigger the urge for birds to migrate, and the most significant one is day length. As days grow shorter in late summer, birds get restless and start to head south, taking advantage of abundant natural food, and feeders where available, to fuel their flight.

Hummingbirds are no different from others and will migrate regardless of whether feeders are kept up. However, we encourage people to keep feeders up for several weeks after the last hummingbird leaves the area, just in case a straggler shows up in need of additional energy before completing the long journey south.

Comments

  • Allen L Smith

    The Hummers winter over in our area all winter Seattle Area, Have for Years, Do you stop taking food to the Food Bank just as some Homless Migrate to Santa Ana and LA????