At the end of every summer, many American homeowners start to wonder they should take down their hummingbird feeders. Contrary to popular belief, taking down the hummingbird feeders around your home and property is not the cue for the hummingbirds to migrate; they will migrate at the correct time, regardless of whether you provide them with a food source or not. That being said, taking down your hummingbird feeders at the correct time is important for preserving the quality of your feeders and preventing you from wasting money on hummingbird food that would otherwise go uneaten.
The correct time of year to take down your hummingbird feeder will vary depending on your geographic location. The farther north you reside, the sooner the birds will begin their migration south. In New England, you can take your feeders down in September, but in the South, you may find that you have hummingbirds up through the end of November. The best rule of thumb is to watch your feeders towards the end of summer. Leave the feeders up for 2 weeks after you see the last hummingbird of the season, in case there are any stragglers. Females and newly hatched hummingbirds tend to migrate later than males.
At the end of the season, rinse the feeder in white vinegar, and then in water. This will remove any mold or sticky syrup remnants. Allow to air dry and store in a cool dark room of your house, ideally in a box to prevent dust, mold, or insects from settling in on the feeder.
In some parts of the world, you will not want to take down your feeders, as the hummingbird populations will not migrate. These areas include the Pacific coast of the U.S. (and parts of southwestern Canada), both of which have a population of non-migratory Anna's Hummingbirds.