Early Bird Surprise
April 14, 2017 By Mary Hosier
Southern winds surprised northerners with some early sightings.

rufous in the pollen
"YYayyyyyy... first little squabbling fairy returns!"
— Pamela Johnson in Lexington, Oklahoma on April 12th.

While it seems that the migration is stalled at around 40° N latitude, the timing was right for southern winds to push a few Ruby-throats north toward the lower Great Lakes and into Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire this week. Hummers arrived whether feeders were up or not:

"I don't always put my feeders up this early, but I read about the relationship between sapsuckers (which I have seen here) and hummingbirds, and it was 80 degrees out, and I had spring fever..."
West Haverhill, New Hampshire on April 12th.

"I had put up my oriole feeder and was taking a break from putzing in the yard, just enjoying watching the birds at my feeders. The male hummingbird appeared by the feeders, sniffed around and was gone in a matter of seconds."
Little Suamico, Wisconsin on April 12th.

"We were caught by surprise. Last time I checked the migration map they were still a ways south. My wife heard it first. Then later, watching tv we had one flit around at the window where one bird feeder usually hangs."
Battle Creek, Michigan on April 10th.

Rufous are Alaska Bound
This week's coastal sightings were in Kitimat, British Columbia; then in Craig, Wrangell, and Sitka, Alaska. At many locations first sightings were delayed this year.

"First male of the season. Latest day they have been here in years and years. Happy to see him!"
Wrangell, Alaska on April 12th.

Western Species
Many Calliope hummingbirds were reported along the Washington and British Columbian border. Broad-tailed and Black-chinned are arriving in the Colorado Rockies.

Ruby in Texas

Broad Tailed

Western Calliope

nesting materials
Nest Building Begins

Hummingbirds Spring Into Action
Claiming, Defending, Courting, and Nesting

Companion Resources

Hummingbird Migration and Energy Needs


Photo Gallery

Text Only Article

Teaching Suggestions

Driving Question

What is required of the male hummingbird when it arrives in the spring?

Report Your Sightings
Hummingbird Migration: What to Report

Hummingbird Migration Map: Ruby-throated Hummingbird Hummingbird Migration Map: Rufous Hummingbird
What to Report Ruby-throated
map | animation | sightings
map | animation | sightings
tnail of other species map Hummingbird Migration Map: Other Observations nectaring map
Other Species
map | animation | sightings
Other Observations
map | list
map | list
Next Update April 21, 2017