Backyard Bird of the Month for October: Rufous Hummingbird

Vagrant hummingbirds

Although the majority of our Ruby-throated Hummingbirds will have departed for Central America by early October, the hummingbird feeders and late blooming flowers in your yard can act as an important fueling station for late migrants or as an attractant for vagrants from the west. We are increasingly seeing western species like Rufous Hummingbirds coming east in the fall. Most sightings are birds visiting feeders that are left up through October and even November, or from bright red tubular flowers, like Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans). I recommend keeping feeders up until just before you think the sugar water would freeze. And then shoot me an email ( if you see any hummingbirds after the first week of October!

Backyard Bird of the Month is a feature by Maine Audubon created for the Maine Home Garden News, the newsletter of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Garden and Yard

Photo by Doug Hitchcox