Hummingbird Migration: Garden Traffic in Decline

I’m going to make an extra effort this year to track the hummingbirds at our feeders.  Just one day after musing about their migration habits last week, I read Joan Morris’ column in the San Jose Mercury News.  One of her readers sent in the following:

Dear Joan: I’ve been feeding the hummingbirds from my patio in the same Palo Alto location for more than 10 years now.

Ms. McClellan of Saratoga, who wrote regarding how often her feeders need refilling presently, is probably experiencing what it is like to feed the migratory hummers that pass through our area each fall and spring.

Her Saratoga neighbors probably need to refill their feeders as often during these several weeks while the birds fatten up before moving south.

It will quiet down any day or week now as winter shows more and the migrating birds finish their trips south. Just a few hummingbirds stay over winter locally, and nectar needs will drop.

Then in the spring there will be another, shorter surge of feeding needed on the hummingbirds’ migration north.

Gavin Tanner

I have noticed the increased consumption of nectar at the feeders (we have three).  It’s really cooled down in the last few days, finally feeling like fall. My California Girl uniform of a thin t-shirt and cotton sweater are no longer enough to keep me warm.

I found an informative website called World of Hummingbirds. They have a form on their site for reporting migration habits in your area.  They ask you to wait two full weeks till the last sighting, before submitting details.  I’m looking forward to taking part in this one small way. They use the collected data to: “help researchers around the world better understand and protect hummingbirds.”  I’m all for that.

magnolia feeder

Magnolia feeder: All business

hummingbird green bottle feeder

Beautiful red throat

back garden feeder

Back garden feeder

multiple hummingbirds at the feeder

A rare event at our feeders. They’re usually too territorial to share all at once.

Kitchen window feeder

Kitchen window feeder

Halloween Countdown:

lindy with pumpkin

Lindy Lu loves pumpkins


17 thoughts on “Hummingbird Migration: Garden Traffic in Decline

    • Thanks for the link to the site.

      I imagine it stays warmer, longer in your state. My Salvia is also still in bloom, so I’ll have to pay attention to that and see if it doesn’t coincide with their departure. Interesting.

      Thanks so much for posting. I just ‘liked’ your facebook page.


  1. What gorgeous photos, Alys! I’m jealous that you have so many opportunities to see hummingbirds. Here in northern Virginia, we had a freeze last night. I haven’t seen a hummingbird in weeks, but I also haven’t been diligent about trying to attract them (I just have one feeder, which leaks). You’ve inspired me to get with the program next year! Thank you!


    • Thank you. It’s a thick green glass and really quite pretty. We picked it up at a pet food store one year. The base is plastic with metal ‘flowers’, so the whole assembly is pretty easy to clean.

      A lot of the feeders have red plastic tops for some reason. I really like the uniqueness of this feeder. The birds like it too!

      Thank you!


  2. You’re so lucky to have them visit your yard thru out the summer. They’re so special to watch. I don’t know if I saw your magnolia feeder, of course I love the colour. All your photo’s are awesome as I know how long I stood there trying to get a clear one with no luck. Especially the one with all of them together 😀 WOW! Just to let you know, the first link to ‘World of Hummingbirds’ didn’t connect (??? glitch) but the form does come up. I’m sure they’ll appreciate your participation a great deal. I’m so happy there’s folks like you who diligently feed them the whole time, so they can find their way to where they are going on full tummies. xo You’re awesome !


    • We are very lucky! I love those little fellas/gals. They’re still coming, too. I wonder if they’ll stop when the sage goes to seed. They really like that plant, in addition to all the feeders of course.

      I feel tremendously lucky to have captured these photos. It takes a lot of patience, as they rest for seconds at a time. Cindy’s pics are amazing.

      Thank you!!!

      I will go back and see what’s up with the broken link. Thanks for letting me know…and for following it in the first place.


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