With temperatures falling and daylight dimming, hummingbirds are packing on the calories to build energy reserves for the journey south.
Reports of hummingbirds in Canada and the northern U.S. 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.
Sheryl in Loon Lake, WA: “Had a young Black Chinned Hummingbird at one of my feeders. In 21 years this is the latest I’ve ever seen one here.” (09/27/2021)
Laura in Welland, ON: “I’ve had at least two for the past week, fighting and playing all around the cardinal vine.” (09/29/2021)
Bernice in Slocum Twp, PA: “Yesterday I observed 3 hummingbirds for the most part of the day. By the end of the day I only noticed one. The remaining 1 that was here until last light feeding from the sugar water right before dark so I figured I’d be seeing him the next day. Sure enough, today he was taking long drinks at the feeders and sampling all the flowers and figured it was just a matter of time he would be leaving. Yes, he did leave today, estimated time of departure was between 9:30 A.M.-10:00 A.M. I’ll be keeping at least 2 fresh feeders out until mid-late November, because you never know. Just may be some late Hummingbirds passing through!” (10/03/2021)
Greater Numbers Farther South
From New Mexico to Tennessee, migratory activity remains steady throughout more southerly locations in the U.S. And some Journey North citizen scientists are reporting a surge in sightings.
Lyn in Dewey, OK: “Still 2 or 3 nectaring on flowers and at feeders 10-01-2021. Washington County, OK.” (10/01/2021)
Erma in Texarkana, TX: “Today has been the greatest day of Hummer sightings I have ever had. I saw my first one at 6:55 this morning and within minutes another one joined it at the feeder. All day there have been one, two, three and even four Hummers at the feeder or sparing to get to it. 12 hours of seeing them! There were only a few short times when I didn’t see one and then they came back in droves. What a day!” (10/01/2021)
Chris in Knoxville, TN: “The bird facing camera has a distinct beak, and has been around for about 2-3 weeks. Still good activity, regular feeder visits and birds chasing each other around.” (10/02/2021)
Leslie in Edgewood, NM: “One juvenile Broad-tail and one juvenile Black-chin gobbling up sugar water at the feeders at 6:45pm, big long drinks! Eat up guys. They look to be in good weight for their journey…” (10/03/2021)
Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day: “Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a Bird!”
World Migratory Bird Day is this Saturday, October 9. We are proud to join with our Journey North community and many others who believe strongly that migratory birds connect us with their unique songs and flights, and remind us of the importance of working together, across borders, to protect them. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a Bird!” And one of the featured species is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird!
Join the global celebration by listening to – and watching birds – wherever you find yourself this weekend. And report hummingbird and other bird observations to Journey North.
Keep reporting until you see your last hummingbirds of the season. These reports from Linda in Highland, Maryland highlight how quickly things can change during migration:
“This past weekend we had a wave of hummers pass through. I believe there were 30 birds in the yard one day. This is unusual — we typically have the fall migration over a longer period of time. After the wave passed we have 6 birds left.” (09/27/2021)
“The last few days I have only seen 1 hummingbird.” (10/04/2021)
Thanks for all you do on behalf of hummingbird tracking!