Late Travelers

November 1, 2022 by Team Journey North

November is here and fall migration is slowing down but not done yet. Are you still observing hummingbirds? If so, keep reporting to Journey North!

Photo: Julia in Dover, PA (10/28/2022)

Stragglers Farther North

Ruby-throated Hummingbird activity in Southeastern Canada, the Midwest, and parts of the Western U.S. is slowing, but some stragglers remain.

Emily in Youngs Cove, NS: “Feeding at our hanging fuchsia, seemed weak, so I hurried and made nectar and put feeders out. She found right away and drank for ages. Came back again before dark to fill up.” (10/26/2022)

Karen in Fort Atkinson, WI: “I just spotted this single female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. We’ve have had a single one visit every day since I first posted seeing a hummingbird so late in the fall. I think that was on 10/22/22. (10/27/2022)

Keep your feeder up! Hummingbirds sticking it out in or passing through these northern regions need calories to cope with colder temperatures. Feeders are reliable sources of food that give them the best chance of catching up when few natural flowers are still in bloom. Hummingbirds are resilient, so don’t be concerned if you’re seeing stragglers this late in the season. And feeders will not cause them to stay longer than they should.

Leslie in Edgewood, NM: “A juvenile Broad-tailed showed up this afternoon at 1pm. This is the latest day ever in 20 years of observing. I now believe we’re on some kind of southbound Flyway for hummingbirds here at the edge of the Manzano Mountains. I have been keeping all my feeders up and fresh.” (10/29/2022)

Teresa in Grimsby, ON: “I still have one female hummer hanging aroud in my garden.It’s been in my garden since Oct 25th and it’s still here today Oct 31st. I’m getting worried why is it still hanging around.” (10/31/2022)

Arrivals in Texas and Florida

Here to stay? Some Rufous and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds overwinter along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida and the Atlantic Coast from Georgia to the Carolinas. Keep reporting if you observe hummingbirds in these states over the winter months.

Robert in Missouri City, TX: “Rufous adult female - first observed Aug 09/08/2022 and has remained in the same flower bed in my yard. This maybe the same bird that wintered at our house last year as she has the same triangle throat patch.” (10/24/2022)

Susan in Stuart, FL: “Female Ruby-throated feeding on Bouvardia Ternifolio.” (10/24/2022)

Leaving the Mountains

In the Rocky Mountains, Broad-tailed and other Western hummingbird species have already departed as winter-like conditions arrive earlier at altitude.

MaryAnn in Colorado Springs, CO: ” [Broad-tailed Hummingbird] numbers reduced today after several feeding yesterday. Only two spotted today.” (10/18/2022)

State of the Birds Report

The North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) recently released the 2022 U.S. State of the Birds Report. Based on the latest data, the report identifies 70 Tipping Point species— birds that have lost more than half their populations in the past 50 years, and are on track to lose another half in the next 50 if nothing changes. Allen’s and Rufous Hummingbirds, two species tracked by Journey North, are on this list.

We encourage you to help track Allen’s and Rufous Hummingbirds by submitting your observations to Journey North. These reports provide valuable data and help illustrate migration patterns. If you’re able, please include photos.

How else can you help? Plant and restore bird-friendly habitat. Learn about policies and initiatives that protect migratory birds, including but not limited to, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, and Lights Out initiative. Collaborative conservation efforts can make a difference. Let’s ensure a brighter future for birds.