Joyful Arrivals

March 30, 2021 by Team Journey North

April is at the doorstep. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are moving north into Tennessee and North Carolina, and reports of Rufous Hummingbirds are picking up in the Pacific Northwest. Report your hummingbird observations to Journey North.

“My first Ruby-throated at 7pm feeding from nectar feeder in backyard.” Photo by: Jody (Burleson, TX; 03/27/2021)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are advancing into North Carolina and Tennessee. Based on a number of recent reports from these states, could this be leading edge of migration? Some Journey North observers are noting early arrivals. 

Mary in Swansboro, NC: “Sitting on the porch and he [Ruby-throated Hummingbird] flew in. It is so exciting!!!” (03/28/2021)

Barry in Graham, NC: “Visited at least four times in the afternoon! Earliest I have ever spotted in over a decade of feeding Ruby-throats. Had only put the feeders out the day before.” (03/29/2021)

Deanna in Delano, TN: “Male Ruby-throat seen buzzing around the tree where the feeder was last fall, then he flew to the end of the house where a new feeder was hanging. Time to hang the others. Yay!” (03/29/2021)

And there are a few scattered reports farther north in places such as Kansas City, Missouri.

Connie in Kansas City, MO: “Saw my first [Ruby-throated] hummer this afternoon about 4pm.” (03/29/2021)

Rufous Hummingbird

Female Rufous Hummingbirds are arriving in British Columbia. During migration, most first observations of hummingbirds are males. Male hummingbirds arrive first so they can find and defend a territory. 

Tim in Nanaimo District, BC: “First female Rufous of the year sighted this evening, sitting on a rhododendron bud beside the feeders. Males have been visiting irregularly since the 18th.” (03/27/2021)

The Pacific Northwest is hotspot of migration activity as more Rufous Hummingbirds arrive to breeding grounds.

Linda in Kalama, WA: “Spotted the first Rufous of the season at my feeders. 2 males!” (03/28/2021)

Other Species and Observations

Anna’s Hummingbirds are being reported in Northern California, including observations of nesting behavior.

Anastasia in Corning, CA: “The hummingbirds have been coming for about a month to our Rosemary Flowers. The Anna’s are especially active this week. Lots of singing, diving and feeding on our flowers. Saw a female gathering spider web and fluffy bits for nest a couple of weeks ago.” (03/20/2021)

In other observations, one lucky Journey North observer has watched a Rufous Hummingbird grow up right before their eyes.

 J. in Saint Francisville, LA: “One [Rufous Hummingbird] pictured but two observed chasing each other. I have watched him slowly develop his bright gorget over the winter, and his feathers are getting ever brighter.” (03/27/2021)

Report Observations and Put Feeders Out 

Keep reporting hummingbird observations to Journey North. If possible, include photos in your reports.

If you haven’t already done so, put hummingbird feeders and potted nectar plants are out. Did you know that migrating hummingbirds often return to the same feeders and nectaring plants year after year? 

Hannah in Dallas, GA: “I saw my first male hummingbird of the season today. Neatest thing is that it is the 3rd year in a row my first has appeared on this same date, feeder and even around the same time of day.” (03/29/2021)