Fall migration is underway with birds passing through Florida on their way south and winter residents starting to show up in the state. Many tiny hummingbirds, known for their ability to fly up and down, hover, and zoom from a flower to a resting perch, will also be making long-distance migration flights.
Ruby–throated hummingbirds, our most-common hummers, spend the months from spring to fall in their breeding ranges in the north and central regions of the state. Some ruby-throats will travel to South Florida to spend the winter, but most will fly over the Gulf to winter in Mexico and Panama.
The striking black–chinned hummingbirds are occasionally seen heading south in fall. They travel through coastal states on the way to Mexico. Rufous hummingbirds migrate along the Gulf coast, sometimes staying Florida but usually wintering in Central America.
Fall is a good time to plant perennials, and having nectar plants that bloom through fall will help hummers bulk up for migration. Native plants such as firebush, red star hibiscus and butterfly milkweed are some good choices. Perennials planted this fall will be ready to provide nectar for hummingbirds on their fall migration next year.
Feeders can supplement the nutrients needed by hummers. If you put out a feeder, only use a mixture of white, granulated (table) sugar and water at a 1:4 ratio.