Why Do Hummingbirds Leave Suddenly?

Last Updated on September 27, 2021 by Guillermina

Have you ever experienced hummingbirds visiting your feeders or yard and you were already getting used to their activities then suddenly they disappear?  Then you keep wondering why do hummingbirds leave suddenly?

Hummingbird suddenly disappearing may be confusing to you and you may begin to ponder where did my hummingbirds go and why. Did you do something wrong for them to leave abruptly? Not to worry, we will be giving answers to your many troubling questions and offer possible solutions if there are any.

There are various reasons why hummingbirds can suddenly leave your feeders or vicinity. We will be looking at these reasons so continue reading for information on this.

Why Do Hummingbirds Leave Suddenly?

It’s not uncommon for some hummingbird lovers to experience the sudden disappearance of these remarkable birds. So not to worry. Below we have listed some reasons why hummingbirds leave suddenly and some possible solutions.

Why Hummingbirds Stop Coming To Feeder?

Have you ever wondered why hummingbirds stopped coming to your feeder and suddenly leave your yard? Here are some of these reasons:

1.    Territorial conflicts

 where did my hummingbirds go

Some hummingbird species can be pretty territorial and can resolve to possess a whole area about the size of a quarter acre. Once they see there is reliable food and water available for them in a particular location, they can end up selecting that location.

They will fight any other hummingbirds just to get that spot all to themselves. Hence, you may begin to notice some declination in the number of hummingbirds in your garden.

The first hummers to arrive usually pick the best spot then when more hummingbirds continue to arrive, the competition becomes intense. The males are always the first to arrive. Once they choose to dominate your feeder, they will dominate it and chase others away. Then you may only notice one male that has dominated that feeding spot.

Solutions: ensure you set up multiple feeders so there will be enough reliable food sources and the competition will lessen. Try as much as possible to position these multiple feeders out of sight from each other.

Later in summer as more and more hummingbirds arrive, try grouping multiple feeders in a spot. By this time, the hummingbird population must have increased and the male bully may become too tired defending multiple feeders in a spot. Then he may give up and end up leaving or sharing with other hummingbirds and you get to see more birds visit your garden.

2.    Nesting

Another reason why hummingbirds may suddenly leave is that they may be nesting. Nesting is always done by female hummers once they have mated with the male hummers.

Female hummingbirds are entirely responsible for incubating their eggs and protecting them. They are solely responsible for hatching the eggs and feeding their broods once they emerge from their eggs. So the male hummers don’t take part in any of these.

If their nest is far away from your yard, you may not see these female hummers visit at all during their nesting period. However, if their nesting site is in your yard or close to your yard, then you may see them hovering around for some quick meal at your feeders.

Generally, most female hummingbirds will sit on their eggs for 15 to 18 days before they hatch. Once the egg has hatched, they will spend another 15 to 28 days until their young ones are old enough to be on their own. Then they will leave their nest.

So, this can take about 4 to 6 weeks so you may not see these female hummers come visit or they may only very rarely.

3.    Bloom or flower preference

 hummingbird stopped coming to feeder

Why hummingbirds leave suddenly may also be due to bloom preference. During spring when they first arrive, there may not be a lot of flowers blooming yet. So they end up making your feeders their food source.

However, once flowers begin to bloom towards the end of the spring, hummingbirds may leave your feeders to feed on their favorite natural or native plants.

Solution: o what you can do to keep these hummers in your garden is to plant the native flowers they love in your garden.

4.    Unkept feeder

Unkept or unclean feeders can discourage hummingbirds to stop feeding on your feeder and leave to look for a reliable food source. Maintain a clean feeder and regularly replacing or refilling them at the appropriate times is important so your nectar can remain fresh.

The feeder has high sugar content. Therefore it can soil quickly and predispose them to grow fungi, mold, and bacteria. Spoilt nectar will discourage hummingbirds from feeding on your feeder thereby reducing their visit to your garden.

So, always maintain a clean feeder and change the content from 1 to 6 days depending on the outdoor temperatures. When the temperature is very hot, feeders need to be changed more frequently. On the other hand, when the temperature is not so hot, feeders can be changed once or twice weekly.

5.    Diet changes

Are you aware hummingbirds also eat insects or bugs? Most people may think hummingbirds only live on nectar. But this isn’t so. Although we rarely experience seeing these birds feed on insects, they actually do sometimes.

The hummingbird diet consists of both carbohydrates that consist of nectar and protein from insects. Small-bodied insects such as aphids, spiders, gnats, mosquitoes, and fruit flies are what hummers feed on.

Also, hummingbird young ones require protein to develop and this protein is gotten from small insects. The female hummingbird mothers always gather these insects for their young ones during the nestling and hatching period.

Therefore, it may be that time when hummingbirds are busy searching for insects to feed their young ones they abandon or suddenly leaves your feeder.

 why hummingbirds stop coming to feeder

Why Do Hummingbirds Leave Suddenly: Conclusion

Why hummingbirds leave suddenly depends on some reasons we listed in this article. Whichever way, you should always keep your feeders up even if they leave suddenly. This is because in most cases, hummingbirds will always come back.

Read more about When Do Hummingbirds Arrive In Virginia?

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