Discover When Hummingbirds Return to Tennessee

Ruby Throated Hummingbird at Feeder
© Christine Balleau/iStock via Getty Images

Written by Ava Peluso

Published: March 3, 2024

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Hummingbirds are flashy, colorful birds that many people try to attract to their yards or gardens. In Tennessee, the local ruby-throated hummingbirds have been absent for several months since they migrated south for the winter. However, as spring approaches, they will soon return. Read on to learn when hummingbirds will return to Tennessee.

When Do Hummingbirds Return to Tennessee?

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird


ruby-throated hummingbird

is the only kind of hummingbird that breeds in Tennessee.

©Steve Byland/ via Getty Images

The earliest ruby-throated hummingbirds will return to Tennessee in late March. However, most of them will arrive from mid-April to mid-May. If you have a hummingbird feeder, put it out by April 1st so the hummingbirds can find it as they arrive.

Where Did The Hummingbirds Go?

Ruby-throated hummingbirds migrate from the United States and Canada to Mexico and Central America for the winter. Some fly directly across the Gulf of Mexico, covering up to 500 miles at once. Others take a coastal route around the Gulf. In the spring, these hummingbirds make the long journey back to their breeding grounds. Some ruby-throated hummingbirds breed in Tennessee, but others breed farther north, passing through Tennessee on the way.

Does Tennessee Have Any Hummingbirds That Don’t Migrate?

Exquisite stunning colorful male Anna’s hummingbird with bright iridescent pink magenta head wings out hovering

Anna’s hummingbirds normally live farther west but occasionally visit Tennessee during the winter.

©Rachelle007/ via Getty Images

Tennessee does not have any hummingbird species that are year-round residents. The ruby-throated hummingbird is the only species of hummingbird that lives in Tennessee during the breeding season. However, some western species of hummingbirds visit Tennessee during the non-breeding season. These include the rufous, black-chinned, Allen’s, Anna’s, calliope, and broad-tailed hummingbirds, as well as at least one recorded sighting of a green violetear. These hummingbirds usually leave the state in April, so your time to see them is running out, but they will return around August.

How Do I Attract Hummingbirds?

The best way to attract hummingbirds is to grow native plants. Native flowers provide nectar, which is an important food source for hummingbirds. Other native plants provide food and shelter for insects, another important food source for hummingbirds. You can also put out a hummingbird feeder filled with artificial nectar. You can make this nectar yourself by combining one part sugar with four parts water. Do not add dye to the nectar as it may be harmful to the birds.

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About the Author

Ava Peluso is a writer at A-Z Animals where her focus is on wildlife and locally relevant topics. She has a Bachelor's degree in Communication from DeSales University, which she earned in 2021. She also has experience volunteering with animals and caring for numerous personal pets. A resident of Pennsylvania, Ava enjoys reading about animals and watching birds and other wildlife.

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