Fall Migration Wrapping Up

November 23, 2021 by Team Journey North

This is the final Hummingbird Migration News Update for fall 2021. Thanks for following along with the fall migration news. Please keep monitoring and reporting hummingbird activity throughout winter. We will be in touch periodically over the coming months. Cheers to another great fall migration season!

“Male Broad-billed Hummingbird.” Comment & photo: Lucy in Cibolo, TX (11/16/2021)

Thank You!

Another great fall migration season in the books! Journey North volunteers have contributed over 12,600 reports (and counting) of hummingbirds. Thank you for all your submissions and all you do on behalf of hummingbird tracking. Your observations provide valuable information and paint a real-time picture of hummingbird migration. We hope these updates have provided you a sense of joy and wonder. 

Still Seeing Stragglers

In the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, Journey North volunteers are still seeing Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. These hummingbirds face tough conditions: temperatures are dropping below freezing and there is already snow in certain locations.

Barb in Sturgeon Bay, WI: “Our area still had flowers blooming on 11-13 so my feeder was still up. A strong gale happened on the Door Peninsula on 11-11 and could have blown this female into our area.
Overnight snow the morning of 11-14 did not send her on her way. As of 11-16, this female still visiting the feeder.” (11/16/2021)

Cynthia in Cincinnati, OH: “This little guy has been feeding heavily in the morning and evening for two weeks now. We have had heavy frost in the past week with daytime temperatures as high as 60. I hope he continues on his journey south soon.” (11/16/2021)

Kat in Council Bluffs, IA: “I know I keep posting sightings, but each time I’m positive it has to be the last. Now I’m beginning to wonder if this is going to continue into December. Saw this guy a little before noon today. 11/18/21. He/she appears to be in better shape than the last. However our night-time temps are dropping into the 20’s.” (11/18/2021)

Jeanne & Thomas in Atco, NJ: “Gorgeous chubby little male Ruby-throated Hummer at my feeder. First saw him yesterday… today the temperature was 25 degrees and he showed up before 6am. I watched as he sipped from the feeder and ice crystals rose to the top of the fluid… went and got some nice warm sugar water and he loved it!!!” (11/19/2021)

Out West

Reports of Anna’s Hummingbirds remain steady in California. And there are even a few surprising reports from the Rockies, where winter has unofficially arrived.

Pam in Kamiah, ID: “Same 2, I think they are Anna’s. Green backs and all Grey front. One of them is starting to color up on the throat. Gonna be in the 20s tonight.” (11/16/2021)

Kathy in Vallecito, CA: “I have a garden full of salvia and also provide feeders. Mostly Anna’s visit. The numbers are dwindling but still have 10 or more each day. The salvias are still blooming. The exposure is SW at 1800’, open oak woodland. This is the 35th year for the Hummingbirds to visit. This year at peak I observed 35 to 40 and they nest as well.” (11/17/2021)

Winter Reporting 

Although we are taking a short hiatus from our weekly updates, hummingbird activity carries on. Some hummingbirds overwinter in the Western U.S. and along the Gulf Coast and into Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. We will share periodic updates throughout December, January and February.

Sara in Raleigh, NC: “I spotted a very small male hummingbird (juvenile?) at my feeder Oct. 20th, which was my latest sighting ever. In fact I had almost taken my feeder down the day before. As of today, Nov. 17th, he is still here, but much fatter! He is a frequent visitor to my feeder so I ordered a heated hummingbird feeder just in case!” (11/17/2021)

Are more hummingbirds overwintering in the U.S. than in years past? Researchers suspect hummingbirds will continue to expand their winter range farther north due to climate change. You can help fill knowledge gaps. Please keep reporting your observations. You might just have an unexpected encounter!

Thanks again for another great season tracking hummingbird migration. Until next time!