En Route to Wintering Grounds

October 20, 2020 by Team Journey North

As fall progresses, colder temperatures are hastening hummingbird migration to wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America. Keep reporting!

“The last time I saw a hummingbird was two days ago on 10/11. The day before there were 3. I am still hoping to see some flying through but I believe all my regulars have migrated. The attached picture is from 10/9.” Photo: Linda (Highland, MD; 10/13/2020)

A Few Stragglers in Canada

Journey North citizen scientists in Western and Eastern Canada are still reporting an occasional hummingbird at feeders and nectaring on flowers. Dropping temperatures should hasten these hummingbirds along their migration flyways. 

Mitch in Shediac Parish, NB: “At a feeder for a few days.” (10/11/2020)

Sylvia in Bon Accord, AB: “Seen at flower planter then returned when hummingbird feeder put out.” (10/14/2020)

Braving Cold Weather in the Midwest

A recent cold spell that brought snow to parts of the Midwest created tough conditions for hummingbirds still in the region.

Jane in Bemidji, MN: “I have been seeing them every day for a couple of weeks at the feeder. Some immature others female. I am greatly concerned as right now it is snowing. I kept the feeder warm over night and put it out just now before sunrise.” (10/16/2020)

Fawn in Riverside, IA: “Still here, even with the snow! Visiting feeders frequently.” (10/19/2020)

Kathleen in Alton, IL: “Such a chilly and damp day here. Only in the mid 40’s but a female just visited my feeder at the dining room window. Freshened both my feeders this morning.” (10/19/2020)

Numbers Beginning to Drop in Southern US

While migration activity remains higher farther south in the US, Journey North citizen scientists are starting to notice a drop-off in sightings as more hummingbirds make their way to wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America. This trend will continue over the next few weeks.

Melody in Brandon, MS: “Was afraid I had seen my last hummer of the season. Five days since my last sighting. So glad to see this one!” (10/11/2020)

Patricia in Pensacola, FL: “A total of 2 as of yesterday 10/13/2020 … I’m hearing from other people here in Pensacola that most of theirs have left.” (10/14/2020)

Carolyn in Longtown, OK: “This one may have been the last one of the season for me. I saw it for several days at my feeder, then on the morning of 10/16/20, it was at the feeder again, but it was never seen again for the rest of the day. I knew it had moved on south.” (10/16/2020)

Joyce in Campobello, SC: “One hummingbird seen today. I believe this one is one that is passing through. The “resident” hummingbirds that were with us during the summer decided that it was time to leave. Will miss watching the antics of these magnificent birds. Safe journey. (10/19/2020)

Out West

Reports of Anna’s Hummingbirds continue to come in from the Pacific Northwest. In California, numbers are picking up again – though still down from last year – since the wildfires and smoke have cleared. 

Mary in Summer Lake, OR: “Still at least one immature Anna’s here. No freezes yet, so flowers as well as feeders are still available.” (10/13/2020)

Tom in Hanford, CA: “Seeing more males coming through since the fires and the smoke has cleared and the air quality is good. Still not seen as many has last year because of all fires here in California. Hope for a better year next year.” (10/13/2020)

Jessica in Seattle, WA: “Regular visitor to feeder.” (10/15/2020)

Keep reporting to Journey North

Only a few more weeks remain for tracking the fall migration of hummingbirds. If you’re still observing hummingbird activity, keep reporting! And remember to keep your feeders up at least a week or two after your last sighting – stragglers may yet come through!