Do Hummingbirds Remember Who Feeds Them?

Posted by Nancy on 5/22/2018 to Hummingbirds

Question:  My wife tells me that I am getting the same hummingbirds to my hummingbird feeders because hummingbirds remember who feeds them.  Can this be true?  Don't they just find a feeder that is in their range?

.Answer:  The only way to be sure would be to have a bird bander come to your yard and do a multi-year study.  But please know that there are fewer people banding hummingbirds than band the larger species of birds.  Even if you see a hummingbird that has been banded the leg is so small the bands are impossible to read unless the bird is recaptured.  Color-marking the bird its self is not thought to be a good idea because it may interfere with their social behavior especially when the male is displaying during the breeding season.  That being said, Alexander Skutch author of The Life of the Hummingbird believes that the birds do remember who have fed them.  Mr. Skutch has spent decades studying hummingbirds in Costa Rica, so it may very well be true.  It is easy to believe he is right when you see hummingbirds come to a spot where you have hung a hummingbird feeder before.  So yes, your wife may very well be right.

Be sure to check out our collection of hummingbird gift ideas which include coffee mugs, T-shirts, signs, caps nightlights, coasters, and charms.

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