Reaching Northern Limits

May 22, 2020 by Team Journey North

Migration for some hummingbirds species is over. Hummingbirds are building nests and raising their young. Keep sharing your observations.

“The two eggs have hatched and the chicks are growing quickly” for this Black-chinned Hummingbird family. Submitted by: Kenneth (Walnut, CA; 05/17/2020)

Hummers Reaching Northern Limits Across North America

The latest sightings of Ruby-throated hummingbirds are coming from central and northeastern Canada and throughout the Upper Midwest and New England. These are signs that Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have reached their northern limits. With each advancing week citizen scientists share first sightings. Spring hummingbird maps are exciting to watch. Continue to report your observations and share in the excitement.

From Corman Park No 344, SK: Don reported the first arrival of a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird on May 18th. 

From Leask No 464, SK: Likewise a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird was sited by Craig on May 19th. 

From Shevlin, MN: Linda exclaimed, “First of the Year!” on May 16th. 

From Indian River, MI: Donna saw her first Ruby-throated Hummingbird and commented, “This is the LATEST 1st arrival in 20 yrs breaking 12 May 2001 which stood for 19 years.” 05/16/2020

From Madawaska, ME: Linda reported,Yesterday I spotted a shadowy hummingbird form moving among the mugo pines so I hustled off to find and fill a feeder. Sure enough, around noontime today we spotted our first diner!” 05/21/2020

From Cape Breton, NS: Anne saw her first Ruby-throat at the feeder on May 18th. .

 From Calgary, AB: Kay, “Reported the happy sighting. Now managed to snap him. Very late this year.” (05/17/2020)

The same pattern is seen for the Rufous and Calliope Hummingbirds as more sightings are reported from Alberta. 

From Fort Macleod, AB: Sheila noted, First Rufus of the season - he checked out the wild columbine and bleeding hearts but they are not quite ready yet.” (05/16/2020)

Fort Macleod, AB: Sheila submitted her first sighting of a Calliope hummingbird “4 days later than last year - male Calliope at the feeder several times.” (05/16/2020)

Behavioral Observations Needed Too!

Breeding Behavior:

When establish breeding territories, male hummingbrids can become aggressive. Hummingbirds have begun building nests. If you seen these behaviors, please submit your observations and photos 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. This information is helpful not only to other Journey North citizen scientists but to conservationist analyzing habitat needs of hummingbirds.

From Lowell, MI: Marjorie submitted this report, ”Male necataring at the Salvia “rockin’ purple,” just planted yesterday! Thanks to Beverly from Houston who always notes the flowers and shrubs. My hummers loved the purple salvia last year and it’s their first choice this year. Also, thank you to someone from Colorado who posted a hummingbird at their firecracker “vermillionaire.” I put one of those next to the salvia.” (05/20/2020)

From Logan, OH: Colleen noted, Male ruby throat on Columbine hocking co.” (05/16/2020)

Nesting Phenology