When Do Hummingbirds Leave Missouri? A Guide to Their Seasonal Migration

Timing the Departure of Missouri's Hummingbirds: Understanding Their Migration Schedule

Have you ever been mesmerised by the delicate beauty of hummingbirds fluttering around your garden in Missouri? These tiny, vibrant birds bring a touch of magic wherever they go. But as summer turns to fall, you might start wondering, “When do hummingbirds leave Missouri?” Let’s delve into this intriguing topic and find out!

In this blog post, you’ll learn;

  • Understand the migration patterns of hummingbirds in Missouri.
  • Learn when to expect their departure and the factors influencing it.
  • Discover ways to support these birds before their long journey.
  • Know when to remove your feeders to encourage safe migration.

Key Takeaways

  • Hummingbirds typically leave Missouri from mid-August to early October.
  • Departure is influenced by daylight, weather, and food availability.
  • Supporting them with feeders and nectar-rich plants is beneficial.
  • Feeders can remain up a few weeks after the last sighting without affecting migration.

Related post to read: 25 Hummingbird Behaviors.

When Do Hummingbirds Leave Missouri -

When Do Hummingbirds Leave Missouri?

Hummingbirds, particularly the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, which is most common in Missouri, embark on an incredible migration journey each year. These birds typically start leaving Missouri in mid-August, with the majority departing by late September or early October. 

This timing, however, can be influenced by several factors, like weather patterns, food availability, and individual biological cues.

It is essential to know that hummingbird migration patterns in Missouri can change yearly.

Related post to read: Hummingbird Diet and Nutrition.

Frequently Found Hummingbirds Species In Missouri

Although Missouri doesn’t have a resident hummingbird species, the Ruby-throated is the only species that breeds and nests in the state. Sometimes, it can even choose to over-winter in Missouri.

Actually, this species is not only commonly seen in Missouri during the summer breeding season but also in many states across eastern North America, such as Virginia, Delaware, South Carolina, New York, Georgia, etc. 

Seasonal migrants to Missouri are the Rufous, Anna’s, and Mexican Violetear hummingbirds. Rare vagrants to the state include Allen’s, Black-chinned, blue-throated, Rivoli’s, Broad-tailed, Broad-billed, and Calliope species. 

Where Can You Find Hummingbirds In Missouri?

Here are some prime locations where you can spot hummingbirds in Missouri:

  • Botanical Gardens and Arboretums: These are hummingbird paradises! The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, for instance, is a haven for hummingbirds. With its variety of flowers and plants, it provides the perfect environment for these birds to feed and frolic.
  • State Parks and Conservation Areas: Many of Missouri’s state parks and conservation areas are excellent places to spot hummingbirds. Locations like the Mark Twain National Forest and the Ozark National Scenic Riverways offer natural habitats that hummingbirds love.
  • Backyard Gardens: Believe it or not, your own backyard could be a hotspot for hummingbirds, especially if you have a garden. Planting flowers that attract hummingbirds, such as trumpet vine, bee balm, and hummingbird sage, can turn your garden into a buzzing hummingbird hub.
  • Bird Sanctuaries and Nature Centers: Places like the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park and the Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center in Blue Springs often have areas specifically designed to attract hummingbirds.
  • Along Water Bodies: Rivers, lakes, and wetlands in Missouri are also great spots to find hummingbirds. The Lake of the Ozarks, for instance, has areas along its shores where hummingbirds are frequently seen.
4 Tips for Hummingbird Watching

4 Tips for Hummingbird Watching

Spotting hummingbirds requires patience and a bit of know-how. Here are some tips to enhance your hummingbird-watching experience:

  1. Time of Day: Early morning or late afternoon are the best times to see hummingbirds, as they are most active during these times.
  2. Stay Still: Hummingbirds can be skittish. Move slowly and stay as still as possible to increase your chances of a sighting.
  3. Listen for the Hum: The sound of their rapidly beating wings can be a giveaway. Listen for a soft humming sound to locate them.
  4. Use Binoculars: A good pair of binoculars can help you spot these tiny birds even from a distance.

When Do Hummingbirds Arrive In Missouri?

From early to mid-April, migrating species to Missouri arrive in the state. However, this timeline can vary due to variations in food availability and weather conditions. Their peak arrival in Missouri is usually in May.

Do Hummingbirds Arrive In Missouri At The Same Time

Do Hummingbirds Arrive In Missouri At The Same Time?

No, hummingbirds don’t arrive in Missouri at the same time. In fact, this is impossible because these tiny migrant birds don’t travel in a flock like many other birds. 

Typically, male hummingbirds are always the first to arrive in the state. They arrive early to establish their territories, while the females grace the state with their presence some weeks later.

Do Hummingbirds Spend All Year In Missouri?

Since there are no permanent year-round residents in Missouri, it is unlikely that migrating hummingbirds spend the entire year in the state. 

Ruby-throats, the major species in the state, are only sighted during the summer months, and most of them migrate south for the winter. However, some Ruby-throats can choose to stay during winter months.

So, if you happen to see a hummingbird in Missouri after the hummingbird season, especially in winter, then it’s possibly a Ruby-throat.

How Can You Prepare For The Arrival Of Hummingbirds

How Can You Prepare For The Arrival Of Hummingbirds?

Preparing for the arrival of hummingbirds in Missouri is a kind act, especially for bird lovers. These tiny birds fly for hours, and sometimes days, to arrive in the state, so you can only imagine how tired and hungry they’ll be on their arrival. 

Some of the best ways to help these birds refuel and rest when they arrive in Missouri include:

  • Grow a variety of native plants with continuous bloom that provide their primary food source – nectar from flowers. 
  • Provide hummingbird feeders filled with sugar-water solution to supplement their diet.
  • Create shelter habitats like trees and shrubs where they can build their nests.
  • Provide water sources.
What Kinds Of Plants Should Be Grown To Attract Hummingbirds In Missouri

What Kinds Of Plants Should Be Grown To Attract Hummingbirds In Missouri?

Here are some of the best native plants to attract hummingbirds in Missouri:

Plant NameType of Plant
Trumpet HoneysuckleVine
Trumpet VineVine
Red Cardinal FlowerPerennial
Bee BalmPerennial
Indian PinkPerennial
Coral BellsPerennial
Golden CurrantShrub
Dense Blazing StarPerennial
Beard TonguePerennial

Related post to read about Best Hummingbird Feeders.

Can Feeders Attract Hummingbirds In Missouri

Can Feeders Attract Hummingbirds In Missouri?

Absolutely! You can attract hummingbirds to your garden in Missouri by hanging out hummingbird feeders. In fact, hanging feeders are one of the easiest and most effective ways to attract hummingbirds. It doesn’t require much to set up; all you need do is buy your feeders and white granulated sugar, and that’s it!

Your feeders should be filled up with an easy-to-prepare sugar-water solution that serves as artificial nectar to hummingbirds. This can be easily made with a cup of white granulated sugar and 4 cups of water.

More so, if you don’t want to make the solution yourself, you can easily buy commercial pre-made nectar from stores. Just fill it up in your feeders and hang it outside your apartment window or on tree branches.

When Should You Put Out Your Hummingbird Feeders In Missouri

When Should You Put Out Your Hummingbird Feeders In Missouri?

Hummingbird feeders should be put out at least a week before these special bird visitors arrive in town. To attract early spring migrants in Missouri, an ideal time to put up your feeders is in early April.

When Should Hummingbird Feeders Be Taken Down In Missouri?

Experts generally recommend that feeders be taken down at least 2 weeks after you last see hummingbirds feeding from them. In Missouri, it is safe to take down your feeders by mid-November.

However, you can leave out your feeders to feed some migrating species that decide to overwinter in the state. Old and injured species that are unable to migrate will also benefit if you leave your feeders out.

Where Do Hummingbirds From Missouri Migrate To In The Winter?

Migrating hummingbirds that leave Missouri in the winter migrate south to Mexico and  Central and South American countries.


For many bird lovers in Missouri, hummingbird season is easily the highlight of spring and summer. So, get ready to welcome these delightful birds that arrive in the state with the return of spring.

Even though they often leave for tropical climates to spend winter, as long as you’ve been a good host to them during their visit, they’ll be back on their next visits!

Until next time, thanks for reading and happy bird-watching!

Useful Links:

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Ife Olajide

Ife is a skilled researcher and an adept copywriter who has honed her writing skills over many years. When she's not writing, Ife enjoys immersing herself in books, exploring the digital world, or indulging in watching movies. She has a deep passion for technology, gadgets, and fashion...

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