WHAT TO EXPECT THIS SPRING.
People become very disappointed when the hummingbirds they had early in the season have disappeared. The sightings are reduced greatly and people question if they've lost their birds.
Early on hummingbirds go through the mating process. When that's complete, they go into nesting mode. Some people may have the males stick around, and some won't. The females change their focus from feeders to nest building, incubating and raising their young. If you're lucky enough to have a female nesting nearby, then you'll see her much more frequently. If she's nest a distance away, she may only make daily trips back to your feeders, or even less frequent.
This is where it's vitally important to keep up with the feeder changing and cleaning. The hummingbirds may not be spending all their time in your garden, but when they do show up from great distances away, they are in real need of fuel(nectar), and fully expect to see their food source where they left it. Just know that these females are still showing up, although less frequent, but still checking to see if their food sources are available for when they bring their young from the nest.
Overview: Early on we get more sightings and more birds sticking around. Then the females will disappear for a lengthy 40-50 day period, where the males may or may not stick around. Finally the males, females and young will all show up before their southern migration. They will stock up on food and fatten up in the gardens that supplied them with food through the Spring and Summer.
Knowing this process will help you understand that they will show up again, and in greater numbers. Just make sure you don't give up on your part in changing and cleaning feeders. 2015 N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta. Juvenile Ruby-throated hummingbird.
Author of Jewel of the North. Please post your comments and questions.