Be on the lookout: Hummingbirds migrating closer to Southwest Virginia

Experts say it’s better to make your own hummingbird food at home

Roanoke – Signs of spring are everywhere and another one is headed our way. Hummingbirds are making their migration back to southwest Virginia.

Here’s the 2021 hummingbird spring migration map from Hummingbird Central.

As of Friday, March 26, ruby-throated hummingbirds have already been spotted in North Carolina along the coast and as far inland as Hickory. That’s about a two-hour drive from Roanoke.

The Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center is keeping a close eye on when they’ll be in our area. Executive Director Sabrina Garvin says it will soon be time for everyone to start putting out their feeders.

“We encourage them to do that because it helps the ones going further north to have some food, especially if things haven’t bloomed and aren’t ready for the birds. It is just one bird that everyone loves to watch out for,” Garvin said, adding that hummingbirds are a key signal of springtime.

According to Hummingbird Central, red and yellow feeders work best at attracting hummingbirds. Garvin says to avoid buying food with dye or even purchasing organic blends. Instead, she says it’s better to make your own. She says it’s a 4 to 1 ratio, to use a quarter cup of regular sugar and mix with a cup of hot water.

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