Return to the Hummingbird Garden Forum | Post a Follow-Up

humm... I guess I am a little late. :c(

Posted by eigdeh z6 NJ (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 28, 09 at 11:09

I came here to ask when is the right time to put out feeders to attract hummingbirds here in New Jersey. Looking at the action on this forum I gather I am a little late?

I saw hummingbirds in my yard late June last year. After seeing them I bought some feeders and guess what... they disappeared. All summer of changing the water sugar mix every three days got old without seeing any birds and it never paid off. :c(

Am I best to put out the feeders now? I thought it was a little early as there is still a few days of freeze possible.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: humm... I guess I am a little late. :c(

Hi there - I am a little south of you in Milford De. I put my first feeders out on March 9, even though there is little chance of seeing a hummer till the end of March.
I choose to be early because in the remote chance of an early visitor-I want to be able to help them survive. There is simply not much in bloom here yet.
According to last years hummingbird migration map, Delaware's first hummers were seen on March 27-and March 29.
You really want to get those feeders up today. According to the migration map there have been no sightings in N.J. yet(or in Delaware for that matter).
Also keep in mind that sugar water freezes at a lower temp than regular water.
I will be hoping that you will have MANY hummers this year--don't give up because they are worth the patient wait!!!!!

RE: humm... I guess I am a little late. :c(

Thanks vickilovesboxers!

I just put them up. I sure hope it works this year. It is very labor intensive to change the water when nothing is using it. LOL

I know in the summer one should change the mix every three days, even sooner in real hot weather. What about early spring when the temps are lower? Do you guys go longer?


RE: humm... I guess I am a little late. :c(

At this time of the year I will let my feeders go 4 to 5 days-especially since I do not even have any birds yet. As long as it is in the 50 to 60+ degree daytime temperature range that is very safe. Some people go longer than that-but I never do.

I must say that in July and August when we are in the 90 degree range I change my feeders daily. I do not have many shady places for my feeders so it is a must for me to change daily.

I will have a total of seven feeders up in late may on to the end of the season, because I have so many birds feeding and most are very territorial.
Believe me it is a chore to change 7 feeders daily-but well worth it as my feeders are so popular.

If you have just a couple of favorite hummingbird plants(butterfly bush or quince or trumpet vine) you are very much more likely to have hummers.
If you have some good plants for them they WILL find your feeders.

May you have a yardfull this year!

RE: humm... I guess I am a little late. :c(

No you are not too late. The season is just beginning.

RE: humm... I guess I am a little late. :c(

Thanks Vickylovesboxers and mimidi!

I have a bunch of plants that hummers like which is why I was surprised that they did not stick around for more than a few days last year. :c( Hopefully things will be different.

What do you guys do when you go away? Not a big traveler here, but we do go away at least once in the summer. I have someone come to the house a few times during the day to take care of our pooch, but I am not sure I want to ask them to change the nectar. Since it is summer and full of natural food would it be best to empty the feeders for the week?

RE: humm... I guess I am a little late. :c(

I expect disagreement from some of the forum members, but as cool as it is in NJ, I really don't think you need to change the nectar in your feeders more than once a week, until it gets hot.
I have currently high temps in the eighties, and clean and change the feeders about every five days.
And during the summer, with highs in the nineties here every day, I clean them and put fresh nectar in twice a week.
I always watch for black spots growing inside the feeders,. If I see any, I clean them with bleach and water. Rinsing throughly with hot water.
I use filtered water, not bottled or tap water with the one to four ratio of sugar to water. Why filtered water? Because it removes chlorine, and if the tap water tastes bad to me, I expect it does to my hummers as well. Why give them water that you dont like to drink?

RE: humm... I guess I am a little late. :c(

Feeders are fun, but why not plant some flowers they like, too? Even if you don't have space to garden, put a couple containers near the feeder and fill them with salvia, firebush or firecracker plants. Then when you are on vacation or forget to change the feeder, they'll still have something.


RE: humm... I guess I am a little late. :c(

Thanks Rob! I'll let it go a little over 3 days till the warmer weather arrives, which should be soon. LOL

Thanks Kate!
I have perennial Salvia, the others I will have to look up. I do have a bunch of plants that they do like, so hopefully those will help.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Hummingbird Garden Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here