When Can You See Hummingbirds in Florida: Unlock the Magic 5 Power Tips for Spotting These Delicate Birds

Hummingbirds are one of the most beloved backyard birds in Florida. Their bright colors, acrobatic flights, and ability to hover like tiny helicopters make them a joy to watch. If you live in or plan to visit Florida, you may be wondering “when can you see hummingbirds in Florida”. Here’s a guide to when and where you can spot hummingbirds in the Sunshine State.

When can hummingbirds be seen in Florida

Hummingbirds can be seen year-round in Florida due to its warm, subtropical climate supporting vital nectar supplies even through winter months. The prime viewing period runs March through September though as spring flowers spur nesting instincts and migrant populations pass through. It takes expansive habitat efforts statewide to sustain 15+ recorded hummingbird species that either reside or visit seasonally. Home gardens and preserved nature reserves both play roles keeping delicate hummingbird numbers viable amid urbanization pressures.

Why Do Hummingbirds Migrate to Florida

Hummingbirds are migratory birds that breed in North America during the summer and migrate to warmer southern climates like Florida to spend the winter. There are several reasons why they flock to Florida for the winter months:

  • Abundant food sources – Florida offers the nectar-rich flowers that hummingbirds rely on. Native plants like coral honeysuckle, trumpet vine, and firebush provide excellent nutrition. Backyard feeders also supply them with energy-rich sugar water.
  • Warmer weather – The subtropical climate of Florida gives hummingbirds a respite from harsh northern winters. Temperatures stay relatively mild even in the coldest months.
  • Greater diversity – Over a dozen hummingbird species have been recorded in Florida, from tiny Ruby-throated to the giant Magnificent. This variety ensures plentiful habitats and food niches.

When Do Hummingbirds Arrive in Florida

when can you see hummingbirds in florida

The timing of hummingbird migration and presence varies across Florida:

  • South Florida – In south Florida and the Keys, hummingbirds can be seen year-round. Some birds never migrate from these warmer areas. South Florida is a good bet for seeing hummingbirds any time of the year.
  • Central Florida – In central Florida and along the Gulf coast, most hummingbirds arrive in early to mid-March. Numbers increase through April as more birds fly in from their tropical wintering grounds.
  • North Florida – Hummingbirds usually reach northern Florida in mid-March. Early arrivals, such as feisty Rufous Hummingbirds, may show up in late February. Migration peaks in April.

So in general, hummingbird activity picks up by early March in most of Florida. The best sightings are from April through May as populations reach their peak.

What are the most common hummingbird species in Florida?

Four of the most widespread and easily sighted hummingbird species found in Florida habitats include:

Ruby-throated Hummingbird – Most common eastern US species perfectly named for adult male’s vivid red throat patch or “gorget”. They breed across Florida before returning to Central American wintering grounds.

Rufous Hummingbird – One of the farthest migrating species. Identified by vivid rusty patches contrasting with green feather back. They nest in Pacific Northwest then migrate amazingly to Mexico and Gulf Coast overwintering as far south as Florida.

Buff-bellied Hummingbird – An unusual species that is a year-round resident along the entire Gulf Coast including Florida, this greenish gray bird is named for the cinnamon “buff” coloration on male’s lower belly.

Black-chinned Hummingbird – A standard migrant sight especially across northern tiers of Florida during spring/fall transient periods. The more purple-fringed female accompanies tiny males boasting the namesake black “chinstrap” marking along lower mandibles.

When Do Hummingbirds Leave Florida?

Hummingbirds begin exiting Florida in late summer to migrate back to their North American breeding homes:

  • South Florida – In south Florida, some hummingbirds leave by late July. However, others can linger into October or November. South Florida continues to host wintering hummingbirds throughout the fall and winter.
  • Central Florida – Most hummingbirds leave central Florida by August or September. A few stragglers may remain into October or November.
  • North Florida – Hummingbirds start exiting northern Florida as early as July. Most clear out by September, with a few sticking around until October.

So while a few hummingbirds can be spotted year-round in Florida, sightings drop off significantly by late summer and fall as the bulk of birds migrate north. To boost your chances of seeing them, plan visits between early spring and mid-summer.

Where to See Hummingbirds in Florida

when can you see hummingbirds in florida

Hummingbirds can be found anywhere there are flowers, but some spots in Florida are especially popular with these tiny birds:

  • State parks – Many state parks place feeders and plant native flowers to attract hummingbirds. Popular spots include Paynes Prairie, Hillsborough River, and Colt Creek.
  • Botanical gardens – Gardens like Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota and Naples Botanical Garden cater to hummingbirds with specialized planting and feeders.
  • Nature preserves – Preserves that protect Florida’s native plant communities provide prime habitat. Consider Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Green Swamp, and Estero Bay Preserve.
  • Backyards – Don’t underestimate your own backyard! Providing nectar feeders and flowering plants will draw in hummingbirds, especially from spring through fall.

Wherever you look for hummingbirds, exercising patience is key. Move slowly and watch carefully for fast-moving flashes of color and wings to maximize your viewing opportunities.

Tips for Attracting Hummingbirds in Florida

You can make your Florida yard or outdoor space more attractive to hummingbirds with these tips:

  • Plant red, orange, and pink flowering plants like coral honeysuckle, firebush, bee balm, and trumpet creeper.
  • Set up nectar feeders in early spring and keep them freshly filled with sugar water through fall.
  • Position feeders near flowers and shrubs to provide landing and perching spots.
  • Install a mister or dripline to create water sources for bathing and drinking.
  • Let areas grow wild to support native plants and insects that hummingbirds rely on.
  • Avoid using pesticides which can reduce food supplies.
  • Be patient! It can take a few weeks for hummingbirds to discover new food sources.

Common Hummingbird Species in Florida

Florida hosts an impressive diversity of hummingbird species throughout the year:

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird – The most widespread and commonly seen, these green-backed hummingbirds breed across eastern North America.
  • Rufous Hummingbird – One of the earliest spring migrants and feistiest species, with bright orange plumage.
  • Black-chinned Hummingbird – A western species that has expanded into Florida with small dark heads and white patches.
  • Buff-bellied Hummingbird – A winter visitor known for its bright red bill and buff-colored underside.
  • Archilochus Hummingbird – Includes the Ruby-throated lookalike, the Black-chinned, and hybrids between the two.
  • Calliope Hummingbird – One of the smallest species in the US, with vibrant purple throats.

So be on the lookout for a diversity of species, especially during spring and fall migration periods. Use a field guide or app to help identify the hummingbirds coming to your feeders.

How can hummingbirds be attracted to gardens?

when can you see hummingbirds in florida

Use these proven methods to make home gardens more hummingbird-friendly:

Plant Native Species – Indigenous flowers like coral bean, coral honeysuckle, trumpet vine or red buckeye evolved alongside regional hummingbirds so cater perfectly to needs.

Include Vibrant Red Flowers – Studies show red varieties attract the most hummingbird activity by advertising sweet nectar stores. Petunias, bee balm, and fuchsia guide visitors.

Add Feeders – Adding clean hummingbird feeders maintained with fresh nectar solution supplements declining natural food availability especially during winter months when fewer flowers bloom.

Include Water Features – Dripping taps, misters or small fountains not only serve drinking needs but provide bathing opportunities hummingbirds relish.

Avoid Using Pesticides – Eliminate eco-toxic chemicals that leach intonectar and contaminate invertebrate prey sources. Let beneficial insects flourish instead suppressing pests naturally.

Is it possible to view hummingbirds in captivity in Florida?

Yes, several prominent Florida facilities house educational hummingbird exhibits:

Brevard Zoo Rainforest Revealed – This Melbourne zoo near Cape Canaveral features a dedicated hummingbird aviary walk-through. Guests witness living gems like green-breasted mangos, white-necked Jacobins and black-eared trogons up close via an immersive rainforest environment replicating native habitats.

Jacksonville Zoo – Scale down South America’s biodiversity at this northeast institution’s Range of the Jaguar exhibit encompassing tropical birds like the endangered green-tailed emerald found only in northwest Ecuador cloudforests.

Flamingo Gardens – South Florida’s legacy Everglades habitat gardens contain a dedicated free-flight aviary where guests observe curious hummingbird antics safely through glass observation windows rather than restrictive cages separating mankind from precious wildlife heritage.

FAQs: when can you see hummingbirds in florida

How many species of hummingbirds live in or migrate through Florida?

Documented evidence confirms 15+ hummingbird species either live year-round or pass through Florida following seasonal bloom cycles. The incredible distances traversed by migrants like rufous (nesting in Alaska) and ruby-throated species makes protecting habitats statewide vital to prevent population declines.

Do hummingbirds stay in Florida year round?

Some species like buff-bellied hummingbirds reside permanently along coastal zones. But most migrants like magnificent, black-chinned, Allen’s, or calliope hummingbirds continue to more tropical climates by November. Fortunately mild winters still support Florida’s few overwintering species on resident flowers and feeders.

What months do hummingbirds return to Florida?

Northbound spring migration brings waves of species like ruby-throats and rufous back to Florida in February and March following openings like flowering red buckeyes. But anytime from January through May, northbound migrant sightings get reported after wintering Latin America segments. By nesting in June, numbers peak statewide.

Where do the hummingbirds go in winter?

Most migrant hummingbirds escaping declining autumn food supplies across Eastern temperate zones embark on incredibly long journeys all the way to Central America or Mexico. Certain west coast species like rufous amazingly traverse Gulf of Mexico to winter as far south as Panama. Fortunately conservation collaborations are expanding protected overwintering reserves across those Latin American countries.

Do hummingbirds sleep while migrating?

Shortly after dusk, hummingbirds enter nightly torpor states to conserve energy overnight during migrations. By lowering body temperature and heart rate dramatically, they achieve fuel efficiencies similar to hibernation. Come dawn, they revive to continue journeys spanning thousands of miles for species like ruby-throats or rufous by seeking flower sustenance along the next leg.


From diminutive buff-bellied residents to thousand-mile ruby-throated migrants, Florida’s strategic geography sustains an incredible diversity of hummingbird species. But preserving specialized breeding habitats and nectar-producing flowers across extensive seasonal routes remains vital for their future. Whether treasuring a momentary visit from a lone vagrant transient or marveling at aerial courtship displays between residents, Floridians steward a special wildlife trust. Home gardeners emulate wild niches relied upon for millennia while nature center exhibits connect society more closely to the planet’s smallest avian wonders. Collaborating to keep North America’s tiniest feathered migrants flourishing pays dividends far beyond fascinating feeder spectacles as balance persists across eastern ecosystems.

About the Author: Hudaibia

My name is Hudaibia with the profound passion for our feathered friends. Birds have captivated my heart and mind since childhood. Now I share my avian devotion through my website, mybirdfeed.com.