Stop and Go

September 18, 2018 by Elizabeth Howard

Hummingbird migration is a stop and go journey. From north to south, where are they finding stopover sites to rest and refuel?

Landing for a drink in Newburgh, Indiana on Saturday, September 15.

On the Move

From single-bird sightings in the north, to multiple arrivals in the south, hummers are on the move. Adult males are scarce in the north. The northernmost ruby-throat was reported in Minnesota. Texas was the state reporting the highest numbers, including this report of 100 hungry hummingbirds in Pasadena:

“Wow…there are so very many hummingbirds buzzing around in my garden this morning again, I cannot count them whatsoever. Many males, females & juveniles trying to get a fill from my many freshly filled feeders. WOW, what a sight!” Pasadena, Texas, 9/17/18

Stopover Sites and Survival

Thirsty, hungry and tired. In strange settings and unfamiliar places, our tiny travels must find everything they need for survival. They may only visit briefly; an hour or two can make a life or death difference. Migration is a perilous time of life.

How do hummers decide where to stop? Which resources are important? How long do they stay? Scientists study stopover ecology to answer questions like these. High quality stopover sites are critical for successful migration.

Welcome Hungry Travelers

Take a tour of your neighborhood with the eyes of a migrating hummingbird. Can you identify welcoming stopover sites where hungry hummers can rest and refuel?

Hummingbird Stopover Sites