It’s that time of year again when the hummingbirds start to migrate south for the winter. Here in Kansas, that usually means they’re gone by mid-September.
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When do the hummingbirds leave Kansas?
The answer to this question depends on the species of hummingbird, as well as the time of year. Generally speaking, most hummingbirds will leave Kansas by early October, heading south for the winter. However, there are a few species that may linger into November or even December. These include the ruby-throated hummingbird and the calliope hummingbird.
What time of year do they migrate?
The two species commonly seen in Kansas, the ruby-throated and rufous hummingbirds, begin their migration south in late summer. The ruby-throated hummingbird generally leaves the state in mid- to late August, with some migrating as early as late July. The rufous hummingbird often remains in Kansas until mid-September before it continues its journey south.
How far do they travel?
Most hummingbirds in North America are migratory, meaning they travel long distances each year between their nesting and wintering grounds. The migration routes of individual hummingbird species often overlap, so you may see different species of hummingbirds at your feeder during different times of year.
In general, hummingbirds begin to migrate south in late summer and early fall. They typically travel alone or in small groups, and rarely stop to rest for more than a few hours at a time. Some species migrate shorter distances than others; for example, ruby-throated hummingbirds only travel between nesting territories in the eastern United States and Mexico, while rufous hummingbirds may travel more than 3,000 miles from their breeding grounds in Alaska and western Canada all the way to Mexico.
During migration, adult male hummingbirds typically arrive at their destination first, followed by females and juvenile birds. Birds that nest later in the season may not migrate at all; instead, they may simply move to lower elevations within their existing range in order to find more food.
What do they eat on their journey?
The question of when do the hummingbirds leave Kansas is a popular one, as many people want to know when they will see these beautiful creatures again. While the answer to this question can vary depending on the individual bird, there are some general patterns that can be observed.
In general, hummingbirds will begin their journey southward in late August or early September. This is typically in response to the changing availability of food sources, as the flowers that they rely on for nectar begin to diminish in number. Some birds may linger into October if the weather conditions are favorable, but most will have departed by this time.
During their migration, hummingbirds will consume large quantities of insects and spiders in addition to nectar from flowers. This provides them with the energy they need to make such a long journey. It is also interesting to note that they have been known to drink tree sap and eat small fruits as well.
With a little bit of luck, you may be able to spot a hummingbird or two in your backyard before they begin their journey south for the winter. Be sure to keep an eye out for these fascinating creatures!
How do they know when to migrate?
There are a few theories as to how hummingbirds know when to migrate. One is that they follow changes in the length of daylight, which cue them to begin migrating south as winter approaches. Another theory is that they are able to sense changes in atmospheric pressure, which indicate an approaching cold front. It’s also possible that a combination of cues, including changes in temperature, daylight, barometric pressure, and the availability of food, prompt hummingbirds to begin their journey south for the winter.
What kind of habitat do they need?
The two most important things hummingbirds need are food and shelter.
To find out when the hummingbirds will be leaving Kansas, we need to understand a little about their habitat. Hummingbirds need two types of habitat: breeding and non-breeding.
During the summer months, hummingbirds spend their time in breeding areas. Breeding areas have dense vegetation with lots of flowers for the hummingbirds to eat from. The males stake out their territory and defend it from other males. Females build nests on branches near the flowers, so they can easily eat while they watch over their eggs and chicks.
In late summer or early fall, the weather starts to cool down and the days get shorter. The flowers that the hummingbirds depend on for food start to die off. The hummingbirds know it’s time to start thinking about migration--flying south for the winter.
Before they migrate, hummingbirds fatten up by eating as much as they can. They may double their weight! This extra fat gives them energy to make the long journey ahead.
Hummingbirds migrating south don’t have to go very far--they just fly to where it’s warmer. In Kansas, that means some will fly to Mexico or even Central America. But others will just fly south within the United States to states like Texas, Louisiana, or Arkansas. Some species of hummingbird will even spend the winter in southern parts of Canada!
Whenever you see a hummingbird near your house in late summer or early fall, remember--it’s getting ready for a long journey ahead!
What kind of weather do they prefer?
The answer to this question is a little bit complicated because it depends on the year and the weather. In general, though, hummingbirds will leave Kansas when the weather starts to get cold and they can no longer find food.
There are two different types of hummingbirds that live in Kansas: the ruby-throated hummingbird and the rufous hummingbird. The ruby-throated hummingbird is the most common type of hummingbird in Kansas, and it usually leaves in late September or early October. The rufous hummingbird is less common, but it can sometimes be found in Kansas until November.
If you want to attract hummingbirds to your yard, you can put out a feeder with sugar water. Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, so you might want to consider hanging a red ribbon or flag near your feeder.
How long do they live?
According to the Hummingbird Society, the average life span of a hummingbird is three to five years. Some factors that can affect a hummingbird’s lifespan are disease, malnutrition, predators, and human activity. The longest recorded life span of a hummingbird is twelve years.
What are the biggest threats to hummingbirds?
The biggest threats to hummingbirds are habitat loss and degradation, as well as pesticides and other chemicals.
What can we do to help them?
Early September is when most hummingbirds leave Kansas on their journey back to Mexico. You can still see some stragglers into October, but by then most have gone.
What can we do to help them?
If you want to keep your Hummingbird feeders up and support those late migrating birds, make sure to keep the nectar fresh. A good rule of thumb is to empty the feeders and wash them with hot, soapy water every 3-4 days.
You can also take your feeders down when the hummingbirds leave. This will give you a break from having to regularly clean them and also discourage any late migrating birds from staying too long in Kansas and risking getting caught in a cold snap.