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

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

 

At the end of every summer, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (the only common species in the state) depart South Carolina 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 South Carolina?

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 South Carolina.

 

This means that most hummingbirds have left South Carolina by late September!

 

But these are just the birds that choose South Carolina as their breeding grounds. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds can be found from South Carolina all the way into Canada.

 

And many of the hummingbirds that are migrating south to Central America and southern Mexico must pass through South Carolina. So it’s likely that you will see hummingbirds through much of October and November as these northern birds are making their way south.

 

I’m guessing that the reason you wanted to know when hummingbirds leave South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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 South Carolina?

 

Let us know in the COMMENTS section below!

 

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3 Comments

  1. I am on Hilton Head Island and apparently my hummingbirds have decided to winter over at my feeder. I am refreshing my feeder weekly to insure they can make it through until spring.
    Steve

  2. Hi I still have 2 Hummingbirds that are here ready all year hanging out at feeder and it’s October 12! Will keep filling feeder per your instructions

  3. We still have two (probably northern birds). We will leave our two feeders until all are absent for three weeks.