How Do Hummingbirds Find Feeders?

Elephants, move! Hummingbirds remember well. You may be right that the same hummingbirds visit your feeders every year! They even remember which flowers they drank.  

Banding studies suggests they will return to their hatching site. Every year, ruby-throated hummingbirds migrate the same way.  

They reach and depart stopover spots within a few days on virtually the same date each year. Birders Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman explain how hummingbirds discover feeders.

We finally got ruby-throated hummingbirds with feeders. After attracting them, would the same group and their offspring return to our backyard next year? wonders Dennis Woods of Greensville, Ontario.

Kenn and Kimberly: If you attract ruby-throats, they may return every year. Young hummingbirds return to their hatching grounds.

Hummingbirds have remarkable spatial memory and can return to food sources after wandering thousands of miles. Having feeders and flowers ready at the right season will attract hummingbirds.

Red flowers and feeders may attract them, but red dye or food coloring in sugar water may damage birds. Keep these ingredients out of sugar water too!