Advance Continues

May 11, 2021 by Team Journey North

Migratory activity remains high throughout North America. It won't be long before hummingbirds reach the northern limits of their breeding ranges. Keep reporting your observations to Journey North!

“First male Rufous of the year.” Photo by: Christopher (Pincher Creek No 9, AB; 05/09/2021)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

From North Dakota to Prince Edward Island, Canada, Journey North volunteers are documenting the leading migration edge of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Migratory activity will remain high over the coming weeks as Ruby-throats approach the northern limits of their breeding range. How does this year’s pace of migration compare to previous years? If you are a Journey North volunteer who reports observations of hummingbirds each year, look back at previous reports and see if you notice any trends.

Beth in Mcfarland, WI: “First one [Ruby-throated Hummingbird] I’ve seen. Spent a few minutes at the feeder. A healthy female. Cool day: high of 55F, although we may be past overnight frost for the season.” (05/08/2021)

Clifford in Jamestown, ND: “[Ruby-throated Hummingbird] at feeder.” (05/09/2021)

Kimlynne in Winchester, MA: “First [Ruby-throated] Hummingbird seen this morning in our apple tree and at our feeder!” (05/09/2021)

Donna in St-Ubalde, QC: “First [Ruby-throated Hummingbird] of the year! Also visited our window feeder. At least 4-5 days earlier than usual.” (05/10/2021)

Barbara in Kings, PE: “Just seen first one [Ruby-throated Hummingbird] of the year, could not tell if it was male or female as it was only visible from the back of the feeder. Now we can let spring begin. Always a yearly pleasure.” (05/11/2021)

Rufous Hummingbird

While migratory activity has slowed along the West Coast, Rufous Hummingbirds are still migrating through the interior US and Canada.

Janet in Fernie, BC: “Mature male Rufous at feeder this morning.” (05/01/2021)

Ruth in Big Arm, MT: ”Little tiny guy [Rufous Hummingbird] arrived this morning!” (05/01/2021)

Other Species and Observations

A wayward Black-chinned Hummingbird made its way to Louisiana. And Black-chinned Hummingbirds, along with Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, are also being reported in Wyoming. 

Diana in Schriever, LA: “Bander, Nancy Newfield, confirmed a male Black-chinned hummer at my feeder yesterday! I’m so excited!” (05/05/2021)

Jennifer in Green River, WY: “One male Broad-tail along with one male Black-chinned hummingbird showed up today. Both have been drinking from the nectar feeder. Separately of course.” (05/04/2021)

Keep Reporting 

Keep reporting observations of hummingbirds to Journey North. And be on the lookout for behavioral observations such as:

Breeding Behavior: When establishing breeding territories, male hummingbirds can become aggressive. Hummingbirds will begin building nests soon as well. If you observe these behaviors, please submit your observations to Hummingbird, Other Observations.

Deborah in Williamsburg, VA: “This Hummingbird was gathering spider silk. I took 6-7 photos in a sequence as she pulled pieces off. I was not able to see where her nest is.” (05/05/2021)

Nectaring Behavior: While hummingbirds frequent 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. 

Ken in Baton Rouge, LA: “[Ruby-throated Hummingbird nectaring] on native Coral Honeysuckle - Lonicera sempervirens.” (04/09/2021)