Pushing Southward

September 28, 2020 by Team Journey North

The first official week of fall brought both lingering hummingbirds and much movement along the migration trail as October waits at the doorstep.

“2 [Ruby-throated Hummingbirds], maybe 3, are now hanging around the yard.” Photo: Michael (Stuart, FL; 09/23/2020)

Fattening Up, Fluffing Out, and Flying South

Hummingbird sightings in Canada and the northern US are dropping, but some females and juveniles remain. Individuals sticking it out in or passing through northern climates are eating voraciously to gain calories and trying to cope with colder temperatures. Only a few nectaring flowers remain. Keep your feeder up for the stragglers. Don’t be concerned: Your feeder will not cause hummingbirds to stay longer than they should.

Glenna in Mississauga, ON: “Third day in a row for this hummingbird. It made lots of trips to the salvia and cuphea on this foggy morning, but as things cleared up it must have resumed it journey. No signs of it this afternoon or evening.” (09/26/2020)

Deborah in Mount Pleasant, MI: “First sighting in three days - I thought I had seen my last hummingbird of the season. But I spied a juvenile nectaring from the zinnias. I had just put out fresh sugar water in the feeder but he was more interested in the flowers that surround the feeder.” (09/27/2020)

Mike in St. Paul, MN: “Had 2 ruby throats mostly perching during the day and getting nectar in between from the feeders. They were happy campers because they could go to any feeder without a fight. A new migrator joined the duo around 5:00 p.m…Won’t be long now and they’ll all be gone from our yard.” (09/27/2020)

Still Seeing Activity in New England and Mid-Atlantic States

Christine in Chatham, MA: “My last bird is still here, the latest I have seen in all my years of tracking.” (09/27/2020)

Judith in Westminster, MD: “A female Ruby Throated Hummingbird was spotted on a feeder at about 1 PM this afternoon. She stayed for a couple of hours, returning to the feeders every 20 minutes or so …She has not been seen since the wind calmed.” (09/27/2020)

Steady Numbers in Southern US 

Erma in Texarkana, TX: “Hummers have been feeding from 6:45 in the morning until after 7:00 in the evening. Numerous sighting of single and double birds.” (09/27/2020)

Candice in Piedmont, SC: “I’m averaging 2 a day. Earlier this week I did have 3. They are all passing thru, so thrilled to still see them. This year was a light year, the most we had was during August, with only 6-7 that we had for a few weeks. But any day is a good day that we get to these these beautiful jewels.” (09/26/2020)

Out West

Patricia in Oxnard, CA: “Male Rufous arrived a week ago. It’s relentlessly aggressive. We’re on it’s migration path so it should take off soon.” (09/19/2020)

Cynthia In Santa Fe, NM: “Small female broadtail briefly came to feeder. She seems to be the last one here.” (09/25/2020)

Keep Reporting

Journey North citizen scientists contribute to our collective understanding of hummingbird migration. For example, how do severe weather events affect hummingbird behavior and migration? 

Beverly in Houston, TX: “This is what it looks like in tropical/hurricane migration mode. They, (sub-adult male ruby-throats) chase in rain also. Before rain bands started two days ago, five [hummingbirds] left. Then one by one, five came back and nectared on Hamelia, Deep Purple Skyscraper, Black and Blue Sage, Loves and Wishes salvia, Mexican honeysuckle and Aimstead.” (09/22/2020)

Keep reporting and thanks for all you do on behalf of hummingbird tracking!