As winter turns into spring, there is really only one thing on my mind.
When will hummingbirds come back to Iowa?!
Seriously, I keep staring at my empty hummingbird feeders and waiting for the day that I can put them back up.
First, let me give you my disclaimer that there isn’t a specific date every year that Ruby-throated Hummingbirds arrive in Iowa from their long migration northward. The exact dates change every year depending on certain environmental factors, such as weather and food availability.
But with that being said, they do tend to get back around the same time every year.
In Iowa, I would start looking for the hummingbirds’ return around April 15th.
Typically, you will see males first since they leave their wintering grounds earlier than females to establish breeding territories.
Putting out your hummingbird feeders on April 15th might seem a bit early, but you want to make sure you are ready for the first arrivals. Remember that these birds have just migrated from Central America or southern Mexico and will be extremely hungry and tired. In addition, there aren’t many flowers blooming or bugs flying around yet for them to eat and reload their energy reserves.
Your nectar feeders provide a valuable meal for hummingbirds. And honestly, it doesn’t hurt anything to put your hummingbird feeders out earlier than you think is necessary.
Interestingly, you can also TRACK hummingbirds on their way back to Iowa!
You can use EBIRD to follow the northward migration of hummingbirds to see if they have been seen in Iowa yet.
If you haven’t heard of it, eBird is a database where people upload their bird observations. The great part about it is you can use this data to determine when to put up your hummingbird feeders in Iowa.
If you want to learn how to use eBird to do this, please watch the video below!
When do you put your hummingbird feeders back up in Iowa?
Please leave a comment below.
Make sure to mention WHERE you live!
Thanks for reading. 🙂