Renowned for their unique migratory journeys across cities, states, and even countries, hummingbirds embark on an extraordinary quest in search of regions with tropical climates, which offer abundant food sources and provide ideal nesting spots. Despite their tiny size, these birds have one of the longest migrations of any bird in the world.
At different times of the year, you can find them in cities across Central and South America. They visit these regions to feed, breed and nest, and thanks to their instinct, they know when it’s time to leave.
In Oklahoma, these birds depart just as summer ends, but residents of the state are lucky to observe different species of these birds seasonally.
First, before I proceed to answer the questions, let me quickly highlight the 4 key takeaways of this blog post.
- Migration Timing in Oklahoma: Hummingbirds migrate out of Oklahoma when the weather turns from warm to cold. Male hummingbirds usually depart by the beginning of September, and females by early October.
- Species in Oklahoma: The Ruby-throated and Black-chinned species are the most commonly sighted hummingbirds in Oklahoma. The state also occasionally sees Rufous, Broad-tailed, and the rare Calliope species during migration.
- Attracting Hummingbirds: To attract hummingbirds in Oklahoma, plant native and pollinator-friendly plants. Some suggested plants include impatiens, hollyhocks, and columbines. Feeders with artificial nectar can also attract them, but ensure the solution is changed frequently to maintain freshness.
- Winter Migration Destination: After departing Oklahoma, hummingbirds migrate to warmer climates, primarily in the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico. Some even journey to Venezuela and Colombia.
So, now that the key takeaways are out of the way let’s get into the most important question – when exactly do these beautiful birds leave Oklahoma?
Related post to read about Best Hummingbird Feeders
- Key Takeaways
- When Do Hummingbirds Leave Oklahoma?
- What Species Of Hummingbirds Are Frequently Seen In Oklahoma?
- Where Can You Find Hummingbirds In Oklahoma?
- When Do Hummingbirds Arrive In Oklahoma?
- Do Hummingbirds Visit The Entire State Of Oklahoma?
- Do Hummingbirds Arrive In Oklahoma At The Same Time?
- How Can You Attract Hummingbirds in Oklahoma?
- What Kinds Of Plants Should Be Grown To Attract Hummingbirds In Oklahoma?
- Can Insects Attract Hummingbirds In Oklahoma?
- Can Feeders Attract Hummingbirds In Oklahoma?
- When Should You Put Out Your Hummingbird Feeders In Oklahoma?
- When Should Hummingbird Feeders Be Taken Down In Oklahoma?
- Where Do Oklahoma Hummingbirds Migrate To In The Winter?
- Useful Links:
When Do Hummingbirds Leave Oklahoma?
Hummingbirds start their migration out of Oklahoma as the weather transitions from warm to cold. Male hummingbirds often depart by the beginning of September, while females leave by early October after teaching their young ones the skills needed for migration.
What Species Of Hummingbirds Are Frequently Seen In Oklahoma?
Out of over 350 species of hummingbirds that migrate globally, 15 species reside in the US. The most commonly seen hummingbirds in Oklahoma are the Ruby-throated and Black-chinned species. These species stay in the state to breed and nest during summer.
Other species that pass through Oklahoma during their migration are the Rufuos and Broad-tailed species. On rare occasions, you can spot the Calliope species in the state.
Where Can You Find Hummingbirds In Oklahoma?
The most ideal spots for hummingbird-watching in Oklahoma include Muskogee and Tulsa’s picturesque Honor Heights Park.
If you want to spot black-chinned hummingbirds, the western and southwestern regions, particularly Lawton and Altus, in Oklahoma, are prime locations.
Oklahoma City also has a vibrant hummingbird population, with frequent sightings near homes and gardens adorned with abundant flowers.
When Do Hummingbirds Arrive In Oklahoma?
Hummingbirds migrating to Oklahoma start arriving in early April every year. However, their arrival timing may vary slightly from year to year, depending on weather conditions and the availability of food supply.
It is important to keep in mind that while hummingbird’s arrival time in Oklahoma is not precise, it has shown remarkable consistency over the years.
Do Hummingbirds Visit The Entire State Of Oklahoma?
Typically, hummingbirds visit the whole state of Oklahoma, but at different times. As a large state, there will be regional variations in the arrival of hummingbirds across the state. Since they are already travelling from the South, these migrant birds arrive in the Southern part of Oklahoma first.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds travel about 20 miles daily, and with Oklahoma spanning over 200 miles north to south and nearly 500 miles east to west, it takes them several days to travel across the state. So, if you’re yet to see them in your region, don’t get worried; they’re probably on their way over.
Do Hummingbirds Arrive In Oklahoma At The Same Time?
No, hummingbirds don’t arrive in Oklahoma at the same time. These birds travel solo, and as such, their arrival time varies. Male hummingbirds are usually the first to arrive in Oklahoma to establish their territories, while the females join them soon after. There’s no doubt that their arrival follows a gradual migration pattern.
Also, their arrival in the state is largely influenced by weather conditions and the availability of food sources.
How Can You Attract Hummingbirds in Oklahoma?
One of the best ways to attract these special birds in Oklahoma is to plant native plants. As pollinators, hummingbirds are drawn to plants that are pollinator-friendly.
Nectar obtained from flowers is their primary food source, so cultivating a variety of colourful flowers that ensure a constant supply of fresh nectar is a good way to attract them.
Given their territorial nature, offering a variety of feeding options is advised to prevent bird-fights.
What Kinds Of Plants Should Be Grown To Attract Hummingbirds In Oklahoma?
Some examples of plants that can be grown to attract hummingbirds in Oklahoma include impatiens, hollyhocks, columbines, daylilies, foxgloves, lupines, cleomes, and bee balms.
Can Insects Attract Hummingbirds In Oklahoma?
In addition to nectar from flowers, hummingbirds also rely on insects like small bugs and spiders to supplement their diet. Insects provide them with vital nutrients like fat, proteins, and salt that their primary food source, nectar, lacks.
Hatchlings particularly depend on the nutrients obtained from these insects to grow into healthy and strong adults.
Therefore, you have to keep your garden hummingbird-friendly and avoid using harmful substances like pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilisers during cultivation. Using these substances can harm the insects and the hummingbirds you want to attract.
Can Feeders Attract Hummingbirds In Oklahoma?
Hummingbirds enjoy having multiple food sources, so even after you’ve planted native and insect-friendly plants, you can still provide feeders for them to supplement their diet. These feeders should be filled with artificial nectar made with a cup of white granulated sugar and 4 cups of clean water.
Make sure to consistently change the nectar solution every few days. Sugar ferments rapidly, and bacteria can grow quickly in sugary water.
Although hummingbirds are attracted to vibrant colours, do not dye your nectar solution, as it can be harmful to the birds. Instead, buy colourful feeders in shades of red, pink, and orange.
Nectar feeders are a supplementary diet because they don’t provide the full nutrients that nectar and insects do. Once you prepare this nectar, fill them up in your feeders and hang them outside your window.
When Should You Put Out Your Hummingbird Feeders In Oklahoma?
You can put up your feeders by mid-April to attract early migrators in Oklahoma.
To keep your nectar solution fresh for your bird visitors, remember to change it every few days.
When Should Hummingbird Feeders Be Taken Down In Oklahoma?
Migrating hummingbirds leave Oklahoma by October, but those migrating from farther north might make a pit stop at your feeder on their way out of town, so you can wait till the end of October to take down your feeders.
Where Do Oklahoma Hummingbirds Migrate To In The Winter?
These tiny birds usually migrate from Oklahoma to warmer climates in the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico. Some even travel as far as Venezuela and Colombia to find abundant flowers to sustain them.
The seasonal arrival and departure of hummingbirds in Oklahoma is a beautiful experience that many bird lovers eagerly anticipate. Feeding hummingbirds when they arrive in your state after their long migrant journeys is truly a rewarding task for bird lovers.
These delightful birds possess numerous fascinating traits, especially their ability to remember every flower and feeder they’ve visited in previous seasons. So, if you make your environment a welcoming haven for them, then you can be more confident of their return in the coming seasons.
I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading.
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- About Hummingbird (Wikipedia).
- Greenewalt, C. H. (1960). Hummingbirds. New York: Doubleday. Google Scholar.
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- Rico-Guevara A, Rubega MA, Hurme KJ, Dudley R. Shifting Paradigms in the Mechanics of Nectar Extraction and Hummingbird Bill Morphology. Integr Org Biol. 2019 Jan 2;1(1):oby006. doi: 10.1093/iob/oby006. PMID: 33791513; PMCID: PMC7671138.