Where do hummingbirds nest in winter?

When it is the season of cold, hummingbirds prefer to migrate to a different location than their native place. Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the most common ones and their breeding area ranges from Gulf Coast North to Canada. However, during the winter season, they tend to fly to the southern Mexico region via Panama.

Hummingbirds fly non-stop up to five hundred miles in order to make their way across the Gulf of Mexico. These birds take a small break, restore their energy and then again continue flying until they reach their northward destination, Canada. Hummingbirds can fly 20 miles a day and are able to end their migratory trip by late May. During the fall migration, you can witness hummingbirds in large numbers otherwise; these solitary birds rarely fly in flocks.

However, there are some hummingbirds that prefer to nest in winter. The season of nesting starts in October and ends by early June. The female requires no assistance from the male while building nests, and taking care of her chicks. According to research, female birds can sit on the nest and foraging for food seven months uninterruptedly.

Pros and cons of installing a hummingbird feeder in your yard

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  • Attractive Design: Vintage red glass bottle and copper plastic base with metal cap fit any garden space beautifully. Besides, red oval appearance attracts hummingbirds, birds will fall in love with this beautiful feeder.

Having a bird feeder installed in your yard is definitely going to treat the eyes of your family members. However, it has both pros and cons. Therefore, check out the first before buying a new one.

where do hummingbirds nest in winter


  • With a hummingbird feeder, you can experience a beautiful family of birds.
  • Feeders help birds to find food easily. In fact, it is helpful for birds whose food supply has been interrupted by climate change.
  • A hummingbird feeder offers nectar to the late arrivals. By the end of summer, the activities of birds reduce, and then a feeder can offer food to the late migratory birds.
  • Feeders come with fresh nectar for the birds. Due to changes in environment birds often find it difficult to store food and survive. Therefore, if you can contribute a little for their survival it would be a great initiative.


  • A close juxtaposition with birds and animals can fuel the spread of diseases.
  • Bird feeders often entice other harmful pests such as rodents, rats, snakes, and mice.
  • A feeder tends to attract migratory birds and stand as a reason for them not to migrate. It keeps the birds together at a fixed place which is dissimilar to their normal habits.
  • Installing a feeder requires maintenance. You have to change the water regularly otherwise it will work as a poison for them. On the other hand, you are also required to clean the container to make sure that there is no mold growth. This may seem a bit troublesome if you have a packed up schedule.

However, you can also think of installing a dish hummingbird feeder. It has some advantages as well as disadvantages.

Advantages of using a dish hummingbird feeder

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  • The feeder includes a high view perch that invites hummingbirds to rest comfortably as they drink from any of four feeding ports while also offering an unobstructed view of the birds.
  • Bright red cover attracts humming birds from a distance and is easily removed so the bowl can be cleaned quickly and thoroughly.


  • A dish like feeders allows a number of birds to have food together.
  • These models are lightweight and are easy to carry. In fact, you can easily move it to another place.
  • Such bird feeders look decent and elevate the curb appeal of your property.
  • Do you know that dish like feeders rarely leak and so it will end up wasting less nectar? Else, this is also a great idea to avoid bees.
  • The tight cover keeps the nectar healthy and free of dust.
  • All in all, a dish like feeder is easy to clean when compared to bottle feeders.


  • A dish like hummingbird feeder allows enough space to have the nectar altogether for the birds and this often creates chaos.
  • Feeders like attract bees and it can be really dangerous.
  • Thorough maintenance is needed. You cannot keep the jar as it is for a long period of time. You have to maintain it for the whole year.
  • If the birds feel like building a nest in your yard, you are lucky! However, then you will have to keep the kids and pets away from the nest.
  • Make sure that there is no beehive in your yard as bird nest and beehives together can really mess you up.

Is it really helpful for the migratory birds to install a feeder?

Migratory birds can fly miles and when it is a hummingbird it can fly to different nations during migration. Generally, they move to Central America and southern Mexico. However, having a feeder, help these birds to take some rest and restore their energy. The warning of climate change has also pressurized these creatures and has made them fight for their survival. Therefore, to help them you can easily install a hummingbird feeder in your yard.

where do hummingbirds nest in winter

However, if you are taking steps forward to buy a feeder, then you need to take some precautions. These small birds are tolerant with humans but are often invasive if you disturb the nest. You should always keep your pets and kids away from the bird’s nest. In fact, you are not meant to rescue unless a bird is seriously injured.  In fact, if you are lucky enough to have a hummingbird nest in the yard, do not remove it even if you spot it empty. This is because female birds tend to recover the old nest and reuse it. If you really want them to come back keep the nests as it is on the tree-branch.

In the end, if you really want to contribute in order to help these birds, then make sure you maintain a hummingbird feeder throughout a year. You need to fill the jar with fresh nectar whether there is a sign of consumption or not. Normally migratory birds can fight unusual climatic status if they receive enough source of food. This supplement energy can save their life if they have to fight a sudden cold or face extreme climate change. No wonder, your small initiative can save many.

Frequently asked questions

Where do the hummingbirds go in the winter?
Hummingbirds prefer to stay individual and never migrate in a flock. During the winter season, they migrate to different locations ranges between southern Mexico to northern Panama. However, they tend to return to the same location every winter.
What temperature is too cold for hummingbirds?
To be very honest, hummingbirds can easily survive freezing temperatures as their bodies turn on the energy conservation mode. But excessive cold restricts insect activities. Hummers can make it without nectar but require consuming bugs. Hence, excessive cold is often a curse for these birds.
Do hummingbirds nest in winter?
Few hummingbirds nest in winter. The season of nesting starts from October to June. The female hummers build the nest without any kind of assistance from the male.
Should you leave hummingbird feeders out in winter?
You can keep hummingbird feeders out one week before they usually visit your yard in the winter. In fact, you should continue maintaining the feeder as the late arrivals will get the source of food as they reach your place.
Do hummingbirds come back to the same nest every year?
Yes, hummingbirds do come back to the same nest every year. Even if the nest is damaged they repair it to reuse. Hummers find it comfortable to stay in their old nest.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at Ballachy.com .

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