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Ruby-throated hummingbirds will arrive soon, what you can do now to help their migration

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN — Wisconsin’s only native hummingbird will be here soon! As the Ruby-throated hummingbird migrates north from the tropics, it follows the spring bloom until it can settle in its breeding range.

Zoomed in picture of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird

According to hummingbirdcentral. com, the approximate time they arrive in Wisconsin is the end of April and the start of May. Typically by then, flower producing plants and other insects, which it eats, are prevalent enough for it to head to our neck of the woods.

Approximate timing of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird arrival

Based on satellite data collected by the National Phenology Network, we can see that plants have really started to leaf out as far north as Chicago.

Long term forecasts continue to keep temps cool for the mid part of April, but it’s safe to say you need to get ready for these tiny visitors soon!

Spring vegetation across the United States as of April 8th

One way you can help attract these birds is by putting out a hummingbird feeder. These come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. An important detail is that you can make the nectar yourself! By heating up water and mixing in white sugar, you’re producing a perfect blend that can provide vital energy for these calorie-burning mini machines.

Avoid nectar that contains food coloring, as this could be harmful to hummingbirds. Change the nectar at least once a week in early spring and increase the frequency as temperatures start to increase.

An example of a hummingbird feeder just we don’t recommend having a cat close by

If you’re looking to replant a garden, another great way to attract these birds is to plant native flowering perennials that require little maintenance. Some examples include Wild Bergamot, Butterfly Weed, and Cardinal Flower.

Good luck spotting these awesome little birds!

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