The Splendid Hummingbirds of South Florida

The Sweetest of Songs

The sweetest of songs can be heard in South Florida, the melodic trill of the tiny hummingbird. This miniscule bird, ranging from three to five inches in length, is a thing of beauty, often seen as a symbol of hope and joy. For those who get to witness them in their native habitat, the experience is nothing short of breathtaking.

South Florida is home to 11 different species of hummingbirds, each one with its own unique charm. Of the 11 species, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Black-chinned Hummingbird, and Calliope Hummingbird make up the majority of sightings.

The Magnificent Hummingbird Migration

Though hummingbirds are found year-round in South Florida, the best time to observe them is during their annual migration. From late April through early May, thousands of hummingbirds make the arduous journey from their wintering grounds in Central America to their summer nesting grounds in the United States and Canada.

During their northward migration, the hummingbirds take a break in South Florida, where they feed on nectar from flowers and insects, and rest in the tree canopies. During this time, it is not uncommon to see large numbers of hummingbirds at bird feeders and flower gardens.

The Splendor of Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are captivating to watch, with their tiny wings beating up to 80 times per second, enabling them to hover and move in any direction. Their iridescent feathers shimmer in the sunlight, giving them a magical appearance.

Hummingbirds are also incredibly agile, able to make quick turns, go backward, and even fly upside down. This agility is a product of their unique wing structure, which allows them to make abrupt changes in direction and speed.

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Making South Florida Home

When it comes to nesting, hummingbirds prefer to stay close to home. The majority of hummingbirds in South Florida nest in backyard shrubs and trees, making them a delight to watch during their nesting period from April through June.

As the nesting season progresses, the male hummingbirds become more territorial, aggressively defending their territory from other males. Watching these tiny birds defend their patch of land can be quite a spectacle!

A Unique Gift

Hummingbirds are one of nature’s most unique and fascinating creatures, and South Florida is lucky to have them. These tiny birds bring joy to those who get to witness their beauty and grace, making them a true gift of nature.

So the next time you’re in South Florida, be sure to take a moment to listen for the sweet sound of the hummingbird. You won’t regret it!


What Are Hummingbirds?

Answer: Hummingbirds are a family of small, vibrantly colored birds that feed on the nectar of flowers. They are known for their ability to hover in mid-air and their high-pitched chirping sounds.

Where Can I Find South Florida’s Hummingbirds?

Answer: South Florida is home to a variety of hummingbird species, including ruby-throated, rufous, and black-chinned hummingbirds. You can find them in gardens, parks, and other areas with nectar-producing flowers.

What Are the Best Times to See Hummingbirds?

Answer: Hummingbirds are most active during the day and can be seen flitting around flowers in search of nectar. The best times to catch a glimpse of them are in the early morning and late afternoon when they are most active.

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How Can I Attract Hummingbirds to My Garden?

Answer: Hummingbirds are attracted to flowers that produce nectar. Planting a variety of colorful flowers in your garden will help attract these beautiful birds. Additionally, providing a source of water, such as a bird bath or dripping fountain, can help attract hummingbirds.

What Should I Avoid Doing Around Hummingbirds?

Answer: Hummingbirds are naturally skittish and can be easily startled by loud noises or sudden movements. To avoid scaring them away, it is important to remain still and quiet when observing them.

What Are Some Common Diseases of Hummingbirds?

Answer: Hummingbirds are susceptible to a variety of diseases, including avian pox, salmonellosis, and aspergillosis. Additionally, they can be affected by parasites such as mites and lice.

What Should I Feed Hummingbirds?

Answer: Hummingbirds primarily feed on the nectar of flowers. You can supplement their diet with a hummingbird feeder filled with a sugar-water mixture.

Do Hummingbirds Migrate?

Answer: Yes, many species of hummingbirds migrate seasonally in search of food and suitable nesting habitats. The ruby-throated hummingbird, for example, migrates from the eastern United States to Central America each winter.

What Other Animals Prey on Hummingbirds?

Answer: Hummingbirds are preyed upon by a variety of animals, including snakes, hawks, and shrikes. Additionally, they are susceptible to predation by larger insects such as dragonflies and robber flies.