Here’s when hummingbirds leave Iowa! (to migrate south)

Unfortunately, hummingbirds don’t live in Iowa year-round. 🙁

 

At the end of every summer, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (the only common species in the state) depart Iowa to migrate south to southern Mexico and Central America. They spend the winter here in the warm weather before coming back next spring!

 

So when exactly do hummingbirds leave Iowa?

when do hummingbirds leave

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds start their southward migration once their breeding season ends. It’s believed that they can sense the changes in the reduced number of daylight hours, flowers, and insects, which triggers their instinct to leave Iowa.

 

This means that most hummingbirds leave Iowa by the end of August or early September. By mid-September, almost all birds are gone, and they won’t return again until spring.

 

But keep your eyes open for any hummingbirds that started their migration late. It’s not uncommon to see a straggler passing through Iowa towards the end of September, especially if they started their migration from much higher north!

 

I’m guessing that the reason you wanted to know when hummingbirds leave Iowa is that you were curious when you can put away your feeders for the winter?

 

Here’s what I always recommend:

 

Don’t take down your feeders until you haven’t seen a hummingbird for TWO weeks.

 

hummingbirds leaving

Once that happens, you can be very confident that almost all the hummingbirds in Iowa have left for the year!

 

Trust me; you definitely don’t want to take away the nectar in your yard too early. Hummingbirds migrate a LONG way and need lots of ENERGY, which you can hopefully provide to them.

 

When do you normally see the last hummingbirds leave Iowa?

 

Let us know in the COMMENTS section below!

 

2 responses to “Here’s when hummingbirds leave Iowa! (to migrate south)”

  1. Karen Vineyard says:

    September 22 2022 Iowa/Missouri border

  2. Linda Norris says:

    Usually hummers leave Iowa early September, but one year they were still coming through up to Halloween.

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