When Do Hummingbirds Return to Manitoba? (Get your feeders ready!)

As winter transitions into spring, the anticipation for the return of hummingbirds to Manitoba grows. With empty feeders waiting to be filled, the author anxiously awaits the day when these beautiful creatures make their way back. Although there isn’t a specific date for their arrival, factors such as weather and food availability play a role in determining their return. Typically, males arrive first in mid-April to establish breeding territories. By putting out hummingbird feeders early, you ensure that these tired and hungry birds have a valuable food source upon their arrival. Additionally, tracking their migration using platforms like eBird can provide insight into the best time to put up feeders. So, get ready to welcome these delightful creatures back to Manitoba and brighten up your day with their graceful presence.

Factors Affecting Hummingbird Return

Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures that captivate birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. Their annual migration from their wintering grounds in Central America or southern Mexico to their breeding territories in places like Manitoba is a highly anticipated event for many. However, the exact timing of their return can vary each year due to various factors, including environmental conditions and migration patterns.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors play a significant role in determining when hummingbirds will return to Manitoba. Weather conditions, such as temperature and precipitation, can affect the availability of food sources for the birds. If spring arrives early and flowers start blooming sooner than usual, hummingbirds may return earlier to take advantage of the abundant nectar. Conversely, if spring is delayed and there is a lack of blooming flowers, hummingbirds may delay their return until there is sufficient food available.

Migration Patterns

Hummingbirds exhibit distinct migration patterns, with males typically arriving at their breeding territories before females. This behavior is driven by the need to establish and defend breeding territories, as well as to attract mates. Male hummingbirds leave their wintering grounds earlier and undertake a more direct route compared to females. By arriving first, they have a better chance of securing prime territory and increasing their chances of successful mating.

Typical Arrival Time

While the exact dates may vary each year, there is a general timeframe when hummingbirds are expected to return to Manitoba. Based on observations and historical data, the typical arrival time for hummingbirds in Manitoba is around April 15th. It is important to note that this date is not set in stone and can be influenced by various factors mentioned earlier.

Males Arrive First

As mentioned earlier, male hummingbirds tend to arrive at their breeding territories before females. This early arrival allows them to establish their breeding territories and attract potential mates. If you are eagerly awaiting the return of hummingbirds to Manitoba, keep an eye out for the vibrant males, who will be the first to make their appearance at your feeders.

Importance of Early Feeder Preparation

Preparing your feeders early is crucial in ensuring that the returning hummingbirds have access to much-needed nourishment. There are two main reasons why early feeder preparation is essential: hungry and tired birds, and a lack of food available.

Hungry and Tired Birds

The long migration journey from their wintering grounds to Manitoba takes a toll on hummingbirds’ energy reserves. By the time they arrive, they are typically hungry and exhausted. Having feeders filled with nectar ready for their arrival can provide them with a quick and easily accessible source of nourishment, helping them replenish their energy levels.

Lack of Food Available

Upon their arrival, hummingbirds may find a scarcity of natural food sources, such as blooming flowers and insects. Early spring can be a challenging time for these birds to find sufficient food. By putting out your feeders early, you can provide them with a reliable and consistent source of food until more natural food sources become available.

Benefits of Putting Out Feeders Early

Putting out feeders early can offer several benefits for both the hummingbirds and the birdwatchers who enjoy observing these tiny, vibrant creatures.

Provides Valuable Meal

Hummingbird feeders can provide a valuable meal for the returning birds. The sweet nectar mimics the natural nectar found in flowers and provides them with the necessary energy to sustain their active lifestyle. By offering this readily available food source, you can support the hummingbirds’ transition from their long migration journey to their breeding territories.

No Harm in Early Placement

There is no harm in putting your hummingbird feeders out early. Even if the birds have not returned yet, there is no negative impact on them by having the feeders ready and waiting. In fact, it may encourage early arrivals and attract other bird species looking for food sources during the early spring period. By being prepared ahead of time, you can maximize your chances of attracting and enjoying the presence of hummingbirds.

Tracking Hummingbird Migration with eBird

For birdwatchers who are eager to track the migration of hummingbirds to Manitoba, there is a useful tool available called eBird. eBird is a database where bird enthusiasts can enter their bird observations, allowing others to access this valuable information. It can be an excellent resource for determining when to put up your hummingbird feeders.

Introduction to eBird

eBird is a citizen science project that collects data on bird observations from all around the world. It is a collaborative effort between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. Birdwatchers of all levels of experience can contribute their sightings to eBird, which helps in understanding bird populations, migration patterns, and other important avian research.

Using eBird to Determine Feeder Placement

By utilizing the data available on eBird, you can track the northward migration of hummingbirds and see if they have been spotted in Manitoba yet. This information can be helpful in determining the optimal time to put up your hummingbird feeders. By knowing when the hummingbirds are approaching your area, you can be prepared to welcome them with a filled and well-maintained feeder.

How to Use eBird for Tracking Hummingbirds

For a detailed guide on how to use eBird to track hummingbirds and determine the best time to put up your feeders, please refer to the video provided. The video will walk you through the process step by step, making it easy for anyone to use this valuable tool.

Reader Engagement: When Do You Put Up Your Feeders?

As an article that aims to engage with its readers, it’s important to encourage them to share their experiences and insights. Pose a question to the readers, asking them when they put up their hummingbird feeders in Manitoba. Encourage them to leave a comment below and mention their location. This will create a sense of community and allow readers to connect with one another over their shared interest in hummingbirds and their conservation.


In conclusion, the timing of hummingbird return to Manitoba can vary each year due to environmental factors and migration patterns. While there isn’t a specific date, the typical arrival time is around April 15th, with males arriving first. To ensure that the returning hummingbirds have access to much-needed nourishment, it is important to prepare your hummingbird feeders early. This will provide them with a valuable meal and supplement the limited natural food sources available in early spring. Additionally, tracking hummingbird migration using eBird can help determine the optimal time to put up your feeders. By being proactive and ready for their arrival, you can create a welcoming environment for these beautiful creatures.

About the Author

Author’s Name is an avid birdwatcher and nature enthusiast. They have been studying and observing birds for many years, with a particular interest in hummingbirds. With a deep appreciation for these tiny creatures and their migratory journeys, Author’s Name enjoys sharing their knowledge and experiences with others. Through their writing, they hope to inspire more people to appreciate and protect the natural world around them.

Nature Blog Network

NatureBlogNetwork.com is the leading birding research and information website. Serving the birding community since 2010.

Recent Posts