Slow Hummingbird Activity
Where are all my hummingbirds this year?
• Blame the weather! It is normal for hummingbird populations to fluctuate from one year to the next due
to the changing impacts of weather on natural nectar sources and/or nesting sites.
• Look to the landscaping! With the recent popularity of using native plants for landscaping, the amount
of nectar-bearing plants in many suburban locations has increased dramatically. The abundance of
these nectar plants also reduces the number of hummingbird visits to our feeders.
• Blame your neighbors! The popularity of feeding and watching hummingbirds has grown rapidly in the
past few decades. There are more hummingbird feeders in use than ever before. More feeders in your
neighborhood means the potential for fewer hummingbirds at your own feeders.
• Blame the bully! Adult male hummingbirds are fiercely territorial and will attempt to drive other
hummingbirds away from feeders located in their home territory during the spring nesting season.
• Blame Mom! After an initial flurry of feeder activity upon their return, female hummingbirds settle down
to nest and raise their two broods of youngsters. Once the eggs hatch, females spend a large amount
of their time gathering insects to feed their nestlings, so they probably aren’t spending a lot of time at
• A change is coming! Our local activity should start to increase by mid-summer as the first brood of
chicks makes their appearance at feeders. By late summer another brood of youngsters can be
expected to arrive at our feeders and migrant hummingbirds will begin to pass through our area.
• Don’t despair! This season’s lack of hummingbirds in our area does not reflect what is happening to
overall hummingbird populations. At this time,