Where Do Hummingbirds
Live Year Round?

By Richard Worden

Hummingbirds are among the smallest, if not the smallest, in the avian animal kingdom. They are colorful little birdies native to the Americas and are primarily found in the tropics, but where do hummingbirds live year round?

Hummingbirds live year round in different locations, though some types of hummingbirds do not migrate. From spring till about early fall, most hummingbirds migrate to North America. In the winter, they generally migrate to warmer climates like Mexico, as well as Central and South America.

This article will discuss where hummings birds live when they migrate and other specifics of their living habits year-round, so read on.

Where do hummingbirds live year round

Are Hummingbirds Around All Year?

If you spot some hummingbirds around all the time, and others not, then you might be wondering - where do hummingbirds live year round? Different types of hummingbirds have different migratory habits. While a majority of hummingbirds migrate twice a year, some hummingbirds do not leave their territories at all. 

Some hummingbirds, like Anna’s hummingbird, the Bee hummingbird, and the Vervain hummingbird, are around all year. They remain in their territories as these regions have abundant food sources year-round. Most hummingbirds are migratory and migrate twice a year to regions based on food availability.

The primary reason why hummingbirds need to migrate is to ensure they have enough food. Hummingbirds have an extremely high metabolism that is supplemented with sugar. In winter, when there are fewer sources of nectar, hummingbirds must migrate for their survival. 

However, some hummingbirds live in areas that have food available throughout the year, so they also stick around all year. 

  • Anna's Hummingbird: This one chooses to live along the Pacific Coast from northern Mexico to southern Canada. The most this bird will move is for new food sources within its territory. Its population is increasing due to the popularity of bird feeders. 

  • Bee Hummingbird: The Bee Hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world. The female is generally larger than the male. Like Anna's hummingbird, they move a short distance to chase high-quality nectar from flowers. They are exclusive residents of Cuba.

  • Vervain Hummingbird: This one is a resident of the Caribbean Islands of Jamaica. It, too, might move to an elevated altitude in search of more sources of nourishment but remains in its territory through the year. 

Human activity and climate change have affected hummingbird migratory patterns. Fewer hummingbirds are migrating every year, especially if you’ve set up hummingbird feeders in your backyard. 

Other reasons for a hummingbird not to migrate include old age and sickness. In the case of non-migratory birds, they would need to adapt to the available food sources in order to survive.

Where Do Hummingbirds Live in the Summer?

Hummingbirds live in North America in the summer. The warmer weather is also their breeding season, so most hummingbirds migrate to their breeding grounds as soon as the chill of winter passes. Spring and early summer are when they are the most active and can be sighted.

At this time, most hummingbirds can be sighted feeding or nesting. Young birds use this time to learn their elders' ways to become full-fledged hummingbirds as they mature. 

In the summer, food sources like insects and nectar are abundant in North America. This is also a great time to put out bird feeders to attract hummingbirds to your backyard. 

Where Do Hummingbirds Live in the Winter?

While most hummingbirds can be found in South America, some can be found in North America in the winter.

In the winter, hummingbirds live in Central and South America, Mexico, Florida, and other locations on the Pacific Coast. Hummingbirds that don’t migrate stay on in their territories in North America, such as California, which is home to the Anna’s hummingbird. 

Where Do Hummingbirds Migrate to in the Winter?

Most hummingbirds migrate to southern Mexico and Central America. However, it's common to witness them in milder climates of the Southeast and West Coast of the U.S.

Hummingbirds migrate to warmer climates in the winter Mexico like North American hummingbirds, start their winter migratory journeys as early as fall, depending on how far they have to travel. The Rufous hummingbird travels as far as Mexico from Alaska every year. 

Hummingbirds do not breed is in the same places that they migrate to in winter. Breeding season is typically in spring, which is when hummingbirds fly back to North America and other locations where their breeding grounds are located. 

Below are some places different hummingbirds go during the winter if you’re thinking about where do hummingbirds live year round. 

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird: It is the most common hummingbird in eastern North America. It also has the fastest wing beat. They generally head to Southern Mexico and Central America. At the same time, some birds may stay in the Southern U.S. along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. 

  • Rufous Hummingbird: This one makes one of the longest migratory trips in the bird world for a bird of its size. Their migration route consists of leaving their breeding grounds in Washington State and Canada for their Mexican wintering grounds. They typically stay in areas with high elevation. 

  • Black-chinned Hummingbird: It is one of the most popular hummingbirds in the western U.S. It is found in different habitats, including urban ones. After their breeding season, many will travel to west Mexico, while some will go along the Gulf Coast. Their numbers are increasing due to the increasing popularity of bird feeders. They are also known for being one of the smallest in the species.

  • Calliope Hummingbird: It is one of the smallest birds in the U.S. Their migration habits are along the Pacific Coast in the spring and back to Mexico for the winter along the Rocky Mountains.

  • Patagona Gigas: It is known to be the largest of the hummingbirds. On the other hand, it is the slowest of the hummingbirds. In the summer, it migrates to the more temperate regions of South America in the Andes. In the winter,  the giant hummingbird migrates to North America, towards more tropical climates.

  • Broad-tailed Hummingbird: As mentioned above, some hummingbirds migrate before others. This is one of the birdies that migrate early, both during spring and fall. The broad-tailed hummingbird migrated north in March and south in August. The males migrate before the females and the young both times.

  • Allen's Hummingbird: Also an early migrant covering medium-distance migrations, the Allen’s Hummingbird goes to Mexico for the winter, and its breeding happens along the coast. However, those that reside along the Channel Islands and breed there are non-migratory.

Do Hummingbirds Return to the Same Place Every Year?

Hummingbirds return to the same place every year after migration. They also end up taking the same routes on their way, as they seem to be creatures of habit and routine. Hummingbirds have a great memory in that they remember every flower and feeder they visited. 

For this reason, bird lovers who keep their bird feeders out all year round are encouraged to do so as they would be tending to the birds who don't or aren't able to migrate. As it stands, hummingbirds decide when to migrate depending on the availability of food. 

If there are a lot of hummingbird feeders in their territory, there is every chance that the hummingbird will simply not migrate. As long as the birds have enough food sources to survive the winter, they will remain in their territory. 

Learn More Hummingbird 1

The nesting habits of the Hummingbird are fascinating as well. I've written a complete article detailing the Hummingbird nesting and egg laying habits which we're sure you'll find fascinating. 

Learn More Hummingbird 4

One of the reasons Hummingbirds return to a certain place is because there's something they like about that area. Here's an interesting article of mine about some of the things that Hummingbirds like.

Where Do Hummingbirds Live Year Round...
Final Thoughts

This tiny cute avian will generally migrate to warmer climates during the winter and doesn't breed where it migrates. They don't settle in the same place all year round and always come back to the same place they left, even taking the same routes.

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About Me

About the Author...

Richard Worden, a dedicated bird lover for over 20 years, I love to share my in-depth knowledge and passion for birds. Read more About Me and my expertise in this field.

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