An Explosion of Hummingbird Sightings

May 10, 2019 by Team Journey North

Many Ruby-throated Hummingbirds Sighted! Now at the 48th Parallel North.

“First male today…first female Ruby-throated hummingbird yesterday.” Photo by: Jean (Cobourg, ON; 05/07/2019)

Expansion Of Hummingbird Migration Into Canada

With each passing day this week, Journey North citizen scientists attested to a major migration push northward for Ruby-throated hummingbirds. RTH have now been sighted as far north as Sacré-Coeur, QC (along the St. Lawrence Seaway) and Bemidj, Minnesota in the U.S. Keep an eye on the map as the migrants begin to spread westward in northern U.S. and Canada. 

From Montréal, QC: WIDO reported, We saw two FIRST this year Hummers almost at the same time 11:50 a.m. Saturday May 5th. 2019 first the female and then the male. There are no other food sources at the present time except our two sugar bottles. Its early spring in Montreal and no flowers have grown yet. Maybe the two Hummers we saw were in “transit”. (05/05/2019)

Flying In With Baltimore Orioles 

Rather than arriving a few weeks before, Baltimore Orioles have been arriving at the same time as Ruby-throated hummingbirds. Compare the two migration maps for Baltimore Orioles and Ruby-throated hummingbirds. What patterns do you see? Go To: Baltimore Oriole map 

From Hudson, MI: Julie noted, “Had feeders up for about a month. Hummer showed up on the same day as the orioles…Unusual. I typically see Oriole days before hummer.” (05/01/2019) more

From Itasca, IL: Frank noted, “Finally our first hummingbird…minutes after two red breasted grosbeaks AND two more Baltimore orioles all at our feeder.” (05/07/2019) more

From Wheatland, IA: Toshia commented, “Had my feeders up last week, but just saw my first Oriole this morning. So I cleaned the feeders and put fresh sugar water out this morning. After seeing my first Oriole, I saw 2 hummingbirds about half hour after the Oriole…” (05/03/2019) more

Males and Females Arriving Within Days of Each Other

Males and female Ruby-throated hummingbirds are arriving either simultaneously or within hours of each other. Some females are even arriving first. What are your observations indicating to you? 

From Cobourg, ON: Jean observed “The first male Ruby-throated hummingbird today…and a female yesterday.” (05/07/201)

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds —Territorial and Nectaring Behavior Observed

When establish breeding territories, male Ruby-throated hummingbrids can become aggressive. One Journey North observer was able to capture a photo of this territorial behavior in action. 

From Mashpee, MA: Michelle described an interesting scene. “The day before there were two hummers (one male one female). Today it was two males & one of them was not having the other at his feeder. He put him down and sat on him for minutes. Quite the show! (05/06/2019)

In many northern states and Canadian provinces, May weather can be unpredictable with snow one day and rain the next. Ruby-throated hummingbirds relied on bird feeders to recharge. Journey North volunteers also noted the importance of other early blooming plants. 

From Coram, NY: Renee “saw my first “Lone male…enjoying a Salvia.” (04/26/2019)

Western Species — Rufous, Broad-tailed and Calliope Hummingbird Update

Not many new reports from the west. Is the migration for Rufous hummingbirds stalled? Are you seeing any Calliope hummingbirds? 

Keep contributing your sightings and photos. This information is critical to better understand migration behavior for western species of hummingbirds.