November Welcomes and Goodbyes

November 15, 2022 by Team Journey North

Fall migration is winding down but some hummingbirds remain on the move. Please keep monitoring and reporting hummingbird activity throughout the winter months. Thanks for following along and cheers to another great fall migration season!

Anna’s Hummingbird (Photo: Marian in El Paso, TX)

Still Spotting Stragglers

In the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, some Journey North volunteers are saying goodbye to Ruby-throated Hummingbirds while others are still observing stragglers. Hummingbirds farther north face tough conditions: temperatures are dropping below freezing and there is already snow in certain locations.

Karen in Tiskilwa, IL: “This adorable Ruby Throated hummingbird has been visiting our backyard feeders for the past week or so. I thought for sure I would not see any more, but luckily my feeders are still up and fresh! I will keep them filled for any future hummingbirds that may have gotten a late start. Who would think we would still be seeing hummingbirds here on November 1st!” (11/01/2022)

Julia in Dover, PA: “This [Ruby-throated] hummingbird visited my feeder daily for the past month. November 7th was last day I saw her. She has been gone for a few days now. This is the latest in the year I have ever seen a hummingbird. Usually I don’t see them after the beginning of October.” (11/07/2022)

Sara in Long Branch, NJ: “At 3:30pm I was in my garden and was shocked to see a late Ruby-throat at my feeder (not sure of gender). I’ve been keeping them filled with fresh solution hoping to provide food to any late migrants. I only had a brief sighting before it took off out of sight. This is my latest fall sighting ever, last year was Oct 6.” (11/10/2022)

Judy in O’Fallon, IL: “Female Ruby-throat hummingbird at backyard feeder 7:00 am. Temperature is 29° with 4” of new snow! Feeder was blocked with snow, so we cleaned it off and put in some warmed nectar. She returned in about a minute. Sure hope she makes it to her destination.” (11/12/2022)

Rufous in Texas 

Over the past few weeks, there’s been an uptick in Rufous Hummingbird activity in Texas. Are they here to stay? Some Rufous overwinter along the Gulf Coast. Keep reporting if you observe hummingbirds in this region over the winter months.

Robert in Missouri City, TX: “One Rufous Adult Female and one Hatch Year Immature Rufous Male. HY Male showed up on 10/31 and the Female is continuing bird.” (11/02/2022)

Clara in Angleton, TX: “This is only the 2nd Rufous I’ve seen all season. Trying to get a better photo of this juvenile male. Seeing a Black-chinned and Rufous on the same day is like winning the lottery for me!” (11/02/2022)

Beverly in Houston, TX: “We just got a Rufous come in to inground Scarlet Hamelia 7:45 a.m. looks like a male.” (11/05/2022)

Out West

As migration winds down, Journey North volunteers and banding sites in the Southwest are noting decreasing hummingbird numbers. However in Southern California, activity remains high, particularly for Anna’s Hummingbirds which are year-round residents in this region. 

Susie in Edgewood, NM: “One straggler broadtail is still here, this is so late, getting worried so I put up 4 feeders just in case. There are LOTS of bugs still, maybe hanging out for a big refuel? I bet he’ll make it to Ruidoso just fine to another layover, thank you hummingbird watcher Ruidoso!” (11/01/2022)

Susie in Orange, CA: “Have 4 feeders and refill one per day. Still have a dozen to 20 Anna’s Hummers and 1 young Allen’s Hummer. Most seem small like juveniles. Perhaps they’ll stay all winter.” (11/10/2022)

Winter Reporting 

Although we are taking a break from news 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 over the coming months.

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.

Thanks again for another great season tracking hummingbird migration!