Advance Continues

May 15, 2020 by Team Journey North

Arrivals after a long wait!

“What a happy day!” Submitted by: Ellen (05/12/2020; Eau Claire, WI)

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

From Minnesota, Michigan and Manatoba to New Hampshire, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, Journey North citizen scientists are documenting the leading migration edge of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. With the promise of warmer weather, the next two weeks could be peak migration for these hummingbirds after a slow start and protracted cold temperatures. 

From McGrath, MN: Paulette submitted this report,We’ve been waiting, and one finally showed up just after noon today. Seemed like he had a chubby belly following the long migration!” (05/12/2020)

From Red Lake, MN: Pamela observed her first Ruby-throated Hummingbird at her feeder on May 13th. 

From Leland, MI: James noted, “Latest first sighting in at least 12 years.” (05/15/2020)

From Morris, MB: Mary encouraged, Get those feeders out!” after she saw one male Ruby-throated Hummingbird arrive at 6pm and feed ”every ten minutes.” (05/14/2020)

From Town of Sugar Hill, NH: Elizabeth commented, After spotting a hummer on May 12, I put out a warm feeder at 5 am on May 13, outside temperature was 26F with a wind chill of 21F. This hummer showed up on the feeder at 5:25 am. The grass and everything had a heavy frost….but he was up and about and had breakfast. Two males continued to visit the feeder during the day.” (05/13/2020)

From Fredericton, NB: David noted,First male ruby throated hummingbird sighting of 2020. “We just had 9 centimetres of snow yesterday and it is only 2 degrees Celsius here.” (05/12/2020)

From Lunenburg Municipal District, NS: Roberta reported, “This is late for our first sighting but we have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of our squabbling hummers.” (05/14/2020)

Rufous Hummingbirds

Alaska to Alberta, Rufous Hummingbirds have arrived. Journey North citizen scientist are now seeing more and more female hummingbirds arrive too. Watch for courting behaviors and nest building activities as spring turns to summer.

From Girdwood, AK: Howard reported, “This little fella visited our ticket booth in search of a feeder we hung there several years ago. We had to move it as it created a bottleneck for traffic as visitors would stop to photograph the new arrivals. We have 3 feeding stations (12 feeders, total) so we anticipate having more activity in the coming weeks, as our valley is the summer destination for these hummingbirds. (Native legend says that they catch a ride on the back of migratory geese!)” (05/03/2020)

From Valdez, AK: Ruth saw 2 females and a male Rufous Hummingbird on Cinco de Mayo. Ruth rejoiced, “Glad they made it back.” (05/05/2020)

From Spring Lake, AB: Terri saw, “The first Rufous hummingbird of the season arrived at my feeder this evening!” (05/13/2020)

From Cardston County, AB: Nancy saw her first female Rufous at her feeder on May 5th. 

From Yakima, WA: Jayneen saw, “a female/immature male rufous hummingbird today around 2pm. This is the first time I have seen a female/immature male Rufous in the three years I have had my feeder up. She/he visited again this evening.” (05/10/2020)

Broad-tailed and Black-chinned Hummingbirds 

Sightings of Broad-trailed and Black-chinned Hummingbirds increase within their breeding territories. 

From Jerome, ID: Larry reported seeing his first Black-chinned Hummingbirds on May 10th. “One male at 9:45 am. One female at 4:15pm and another at 6:30pm.” (05/10/2020)

From Kamiah, ID: Pam observed her first Black-chinned male hummingbird on May 11th.

From Peyton, CO: Alyce saw her first Black-chinned Hummingbird at an Oriole feeder on May 10th.

From Elizabeth, CO: Angela said that she currently have 3 hummingbirds, (Two male Broad-tailed, One Black-chinned), visiting my feeders, and flowers. Here’s a photo of a Broad-tailed male. He also feeds on my large potted plant of Vermillionaire-Cuphea. Another must have for hummingbirds. No females yet.” (05/06/2020)

From Show Low, AZ: Carol reported, After the females arrived, the Black-chinned males are performing their mating ritual flying high above the tall blue spruce that we have in the front yard accompanied with the zing sound. It is so much fun to watch.” (05/05/2020)

Calliope and Anna’s Hummingbirds

Only a few reports for these hummingbird species. Do you see any Anna’s or Calliope Hummingbirds in your backyards? Please report to Journey North. 

From Emigrant, MT: Dorothy commented, We put out 2 feeders on May 10th, and on May 12th, we saw our first male Calliope hummer. He’s been seen numerous times since.” (05/12/2020)

Behavioral Observations Needed Too!

Breeding Behavior: When establish breeding territories, male hummingbrids can become aggressive. Hummingbirds will begin building nests soon too. If you seen these behaviors, please submit your observations to Hummingbird, Other Observations

Nectaring Behavior: While hummingbirds frequently your backyard feeders, they also rely on nectar rich flowers. If you observe hummingbirds nectaring from plants, please report these observations to Hummingbird, Nectaring from Flowers. If you know plant names, submit this information in the comment section also. 

From Oregon, IL: Leona observedHummingbird on bluebells. (05/13/2020)

From Ipswich, MA: Douglas found a Ruby-throated Hummingbird “nectaring on peach colored quince flowers.” (05/13/2020)

From Mount Pleasant, MIDeborah described, “The hummingbirds are enjoying the hanging baskets on the deck now that the threat of frost has passed. Today…forecast to reach 73 degrees. So nice after our brief return of winter last weekend. I am happy to see the hummingbirds survived the nightly low temperatures in the 20s.” (05/15/2020)


Looking For Fun Activities To Do At Home? 

Look no further! Journey North has many resources for anyone with a curious mind. Check out this week’s Exploring Together resources which focuses on hummingbird nests and hummingbird babies.