Spring Surge

April 20, 2021 by Team Journey North

Across North America, observations of hummingbirds are on the rise as spring progresses. Where is the leading edge of migration? Read on to find out.

"Beautiful." Photo by: Kelly (Harvey, LA; 04/17/2021)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The leading edge of Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration is hovering around latitude 39-40°N. Clusters of reports are coming in from the mid-Atlantic region.

Erin in Hopewell, NJ: "I just put my feeder up two days ago! Just in time too, since this little guy [Ruby-throated Hummingbird] showed up and visited our feeder three times today." (04/15/2021)

Barbara in Broad Run, VA: "[Ruby-throated Hummingbird] showed up at the spot where we normally hang our feeder. We made nectar, hung the feeder and he was back the next morning. (04/16/2021)

Eileen in Ocean City, NJ: "Female Ruby-throat sitting on clematis trellis. Yippee!" (04/17/2021)

And isolated reports farther north are coming from Ohio, Massachusetts, and Quebec. Some Journey North observers are noting early arrivals.

Richard in Madison, OH: "Earliest we have ever had one [Ruby-throated Hummingbird] show up. Male hung around all afternoon." (04/18/2021)

Judy in North Falmouth, MA: "First Ruby-throated Hummingbird (male) of the season on our feeder. This is the earliest we have seen them in this locale." (04/18/2021)

Ursula in La Prairie, QC: "Have had my feeders up for about a week. Just saw a very small male [Ruby-throated Hummingbird]! Happy Spring!" (04/18/2021)

Rufous Hummingbird

Cause for celebration: Rufous Hummingbirds have made it to Alaska! 

Barbara in Wrangell, AK: "First Rufous hummers today, one male and two female which is unusual. Usually just a male or two passing through then the females show up a couple of weeks later. Glad to see them, to be the pit stop for those travelling further up north and awaiting the ones who stay here for the spring." (04/15/2021)

Robert & Sandi in Juneau, AK: "Brilliant perky male showed at our feeder about 2:30 pm. Have heard of a few sightings over the last couple of days locally but this is the first Rufous of the season at our place. We missed them so much!" (04/16/2021)

Other Species and Observations

Black-chinned Hummingbirds remain common visitors in Texas. In Colorado, Broad-tailed Hummingbirds are facing the variability of spring weather.

Sheryl in Dallas, TX: "We saw two males and a female [Black-chinned Hummingbird]." (04/13/2021)

Terry in Castle Rock, CO: "Broad-tailed male in snow storm." (04/15/2021)

And more cause for celebration: reports of Calliope Hummingbirds are starting to come in!

Rose Marie in Kettle Falls, WA: "Early Saturday morning I observed a male Calliope at one of my feeders. He drank and flew over to a nearby tree and perched. I went over to another feeder and discovered a female Calliope at that feeder. They're back!" (04/17/2021)

Lucinda in Post Falls, ID: "A female Calliope at my feeders 7:30 p.m. She was very hungry and busy going back and forth to each feeder." (04/17/2021)

Keep Reporting and Include Photos!

If possible, please include photos when reporting observations. Make sure your photo is properly rotated. Photos help verify reports and we enjoy sharing them with our Journey North community!

Brightening Our Days

Regardless of where you find yourself, take time to gaze out your window or explore outside. Know that your hummingbird reports are important to all of us here at Journey North. Reports not only provide critical data, they spread joy.

Laura in Hampton Bays, NY: "First Male Ruby-throat of the year at 7am, 8 days earlier this year than last! So happy to see our resident male hummer back again." (04/20/2021)