First Female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds Observed!

March 22, 2019 by Team Journey North

The migration is pushing northward as far as the Ohio River. First female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds starting to arrive in Gulf Coast states.

“A Ruby-throated Hummigbird showed up at our feeder early one morning.” Photo by: Marianne (Roanoke, AL; 03/16/2019)

Males First, Females Follow

Most first sightings of hummingbirds are males. Male hummingbirds arrive first so they can find and defend a choice territory for luring females. Indeed, there are many more sightings this week for male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds from Journey North citizen scientists who live along the Gulf Coast states.

From Altoona, FL: Cher commented “Our first hummingbird of the spring 2019 season arrived at our feeder!”  (03/17/2019)

From West Paducah, KYOur most northern sightings was submitted by Kevin who noted that he observed “one male on feeder I just put out 2 days ago, 18 days earlier than normal and way earlier than last year.” (03/19/2019)

From Blackwell, TX: Lisa described that she had “just put up a feeder a couple of days ago, and this morning we had our first hummingbird getting a good long breakfast drink! Hummingbirds and warmer weather finally returning!” (03/17/2019)

Usually female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds arrive a week to 10 days later.

From Irmo, SC: Raymond had the first female Ruby-throated Hummingbird sighting entered into the Journey North database. “Saw a scout mid morning; late afternoon, another bird came to feeder. Both were female.” (03/15/2019)

Western Species

There was a cluster of sightings of Black-chinned hummingbirds reported in Texas. 

From San Marcos, TX: Glenda exclaimed, “FINALLY! First female Black-chinned spotted at my feeder today at 2:15 p.m. Nearly 2 full weeks after spotting the first male. So glad to see this!” (03/19/2019)

From Sweetwater, TX: “First black-chinned male!” observed Susan. (03/19/2019)

Several Journey North citizen scientists recorded Rufous Hummingbirds along the west coast and into the Canadian province of British Columbia. 

From Delta, BC: Gary and Denise commented, “First Rufous Hummingbird of the year, a male, 4 days later than 2018, also a male. Arrived just before sunset and made good use of every port on both feeders. Nice to see them back again although our resident Anna’s are unlikely to share our enthusiasm.” (03/16/2019)

From Friday Harbor, WAFirst male Rufous today! observed K. (03/15/2019)