Joyful Arrivals

March 20, 2020 by Team Journey North

Hummingbirds are often heard but not seen. The buzz of fast moving wings announce their arrival. Capturing hummingbirds on camera can be an elusive endeavor. Please bring great joy!

“Male Ruby Throat, two days in a row, but caught photo of him today.” Photo by: John (03/15/2020; Prairieville, LA)

Leading Edge Creeping Northward

Take a look at the Journey North maps see where hummingbirds have been observed as they make their way north.

Rubies and Rufous Have Arrived

From Austin to Dallas, Journey North citizen scientists are observing Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Observers throughout Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia are also reporting Ruby-throats. There are even a few Rubies that have ventured into Arkansas — but not as far as Little Rock.

From Arkadelphia, AREvelyn commented, “Adult male. Feeding at feeder about every 30 minutes. First seen at feeder around 1:30 3/15/20. Came directly to feeder located at same location that it has been in years past. That spot was in our backyard that that adjoins a greenbelt for a trail thru our small Arkansas town.” (03/15/2020)

Rufous Hummingbirds are progressing up the west coast into British Columbia with a flurry of sightings contributed by citizen scientists living on Vancouver Islands along the Strait of Georgia. Other Rufous hummingbirds continue to be reported in Texas and one lone overwintering in Missouri. 

From Cowichan Valley, BCLea wrote, “Joyfully, heard the zing of first male Rufous arrival this afternoon. 2019’s arrival was 17 Mar. Delightful distraction from current world events!” (03/16/2020)

From Lantzville, BC: Lynn reported, “First male Rufous at my front yard feeder this morning. A little shy and a female Annas would not give him space. He then went to my backyard feeder and had a drink.” (03/17/2020)

From Comox Valley, BC : Fiona noted, “5:15 p.m. on a lovely sunny evening we heard the unmistakable buzz. Sat on the feeder for quite some time and then sat on a branch watching us. Such a lovely sight during really tough times. Stay healthy everyone.” (03/18/2020)

From Kerrville, TXJim reported his first male hummer, while waiting for more to arrive daily. (03/15/2020)

From Cape Girardeau, MO: Carol wrote, “I’ve been feeding this one all winter(still), and think it is a Rufous after watching it all winter sitting outside my window.” (03/16/2020)

Cluster of Sightings for Black-chinned Hummingbirds In Texas

From Pleasanton, TX: Gina reported a Black-chinned hummingbird. (03/15/2020)

From New Braunfels, TX: Jeff recorded this observation: “There are 2 males and one female in the yard. The picture is not great, but the courtship dance that they do everyday is wonderful.” (03/20/2020)

Only a Few Reports for Anna’s and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds

Resident Anna’s Hummingbirds are staying in place. 

From Ladysmith, BCJudith observed, “a large population of Anna’s, that stay all year round.” (03/10/2020)

From Mount Hood Parkdale, ORJudy “saw her first hummingbird on 3/6/20 at my feeder. I have to keep my camera ready. Maybe it was a Male Broad-tailed Hummingbird.” (03/06/2020)

Looking For Fun Activities To Do At Home? 

Look no further! Journey North has many resources for anyone with a curious mind. This week we feature resources related to the Hummingbird Migration

Feeders Out And Ready 

We have heard from many Journey North citizen scientists that they have cleaned out their hummingbird feeders and are ready for migrating hummingbirds to return. Feeders provide needed energy for migrating hummingbirds.

From Phoenix, AZ: Joe wrote in February, On station in 1000 ft elevation, Sonoran desert and at the ready! Citrus trees now joining Ash and Peach trees, that have been blooming for ~2 weeks. So far only our homies: Ana’s and Black-chin hummingbirds come by.These delightful li’l hang-around-the-forts, fuss over my back-yard feeders all year. Shall keep y’all posted! “(02/28/2020)

Have hummingbirds returned? Keep us posted here at Journey North.  

Better Late Than Never

Journey North also accept sightings from past years — so go through your birding notebooks and enter your data just as did Nathan, who has contributed Ruby-throated Hummingbird sightings to Journey North since 2004. 

Backdated 05/06/2019  From Canton, MI:I just came to the 2019 Map today, Thursday, March 19, 2020 to find my post about when my first Ruby-throated Hummingbird arrived last year, and I couldn’t find it! I double checked my ‘My Sightings’ and somehow, this was the first year I failed to report in a sighting to y’all since 2004! So, here’s my belated report for 2019…Monday, May 6, 2019:

  • 6:42PM, I had a dark backed (like a male) hummingbird at my O’Neil Red-horsechestnut.
  • 7:14PM, I had a female Ruby-throated hummingbird at my feeder for a sit-feed until I said “Hi sweetie, welcome home!” and she took off south out of the yard.
  • 7:34PM, I had a female Ruby-throated hummingbird checking out my hummingbird anti-strike decal on the door wall window then she flew up to the feeder for a sit-feed and left to the west.
  • 7:45PM I had a Male at the twigs from the 2018 growth of my back fence trumpet vine. He let me approach to about 10 feet away, and sat there for several minutes as I said hello and welcomed him home and told him how glad I was that he and his lady friend had returned.
  • 8:07PM Last sighting of the day, a lady hummer at my feeder for sit-feed at a freshly warmed batch of sugar water. She left off to the east.

Important information even a year late.