November Welcomes and Goodbyes

November 16, 2021 by Team Journey North

Late-season sightings of hummingbirds are still coming in even as fall migration winds down. Our weekly updates conclude next week but monitoring and reporting hummingbird activity will continue during the winter months.

“I am happy to have played a small part in helping him [juvenile male Rufous Hummingbird] on his journey.” Comment & photo: Clara in Angleton, TX (10/22/2021)

Moving On 

Stragglers in Ontario and the Midwest are moving on as colder weather sets in. When it’s cold, hummingbirds often appear larger because they’re fluffing their feathers for extra insulation. This allows them to trap warm air and protect their bodies from surrounding cold air. 

Gesine in Lincoln, ON: “I am now able to report that this is last time is saw my juvenile male. Instinct finally kicked in and my little guy is on his way South. One can only hope his journey is safe.” (11/09/2021)

Kat in Council Bluffs, IA: “Saw this poor little guy this morning. It was 33 degrees F outside … A few hours later he was gone.” (11/14/2021)

New Arrivals

Passing through or here to stay? Some Rufous Hummingbirds and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds overwinter along the Gulf Coast and into Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Keep reporting if you observe hummingbirds in these states over the winter months. 

Carla in Crowley, LA: “This male Ruby-throat has been feeding from cuphea bushes and firespike for two days now. It’s gratifying to know that there’s plant nectar for those passing through. We’ll keep watching for more journeying Rubies and hoping for a return of last year’s two rufous buddies. Meanwhile, we’re keeping two feeders clean and freshly half-filled.” (11/13/2021)

Steve in Rome, GA: “Rufous has now been seen for the past 6 days at the feeder. Also feeding on Mexican sage plants which are still flowering.” (11/14/2021)

Most Black-chinned Hummingbirds overwinter in western Mexico. Journey North volunteers in Texas are observing juveniles that appear to be in no rush to move on.

Lisa in Fort Davis, TX: “A very tiny juvenile Black-chinned hummingbird seems to be staying. Although temperatures are warm during the day (low 80s), nighttime temperatures have been getting down to the low 40s and into the 30s, so I’ve been bringing the feeder inside each night and returning it at daybreak.” (11/09/2021)

Out West

Anna’s Hummingbirds are showing up in good numbers in California. In more mild locations, some Anna’s Hummingbirds will stay the whole winter.

Jim in Trinidad, CA: “We have 15 to 20 Anna’s hummingbirds at our two front of house feeders. They have been here for several weeks at least.” (11/09/2021)

Reports are coming in as far north as British Columbia and Idaho, although the hummingbird species are not specified. Based on these locations, do you have any guesses? Perhaps Anna’s, Rufous, or Calliope?

Pam in Kamiah, ID: “First thing this morning at the feeder. Haven’t seen one in weeks. Also first snow of the season.” (11/11/2021)

Miriam in Central Saanich, BC: “As many as 8 at the feeder!” (11/12/2021)

One More Week of Fall Migration Updates 

One week left for publishing our Fall Migration News Updates — but monitoring hummingbird activity continues during winter. Stay tuned for updates via our website, social media, and email throughout December, January and February.