Breeding Territories Reached

May 25, 2021 by Team Journey North

As migration winds down, hummingbirds shift their focus to the breeding season. Be on the lookout for nests, eggs, territorial behavior, and nectaring activity. Keep reporting to Journey North.

“Female, Ruby-throated Hummingbird.” Photo by: Heather (Perry, IA; 05/18/2021)

Ruby-throated and Rufous Hummingbirds

As hummingbirds reach their breeding territories, reports of “first” observations are slowing. More Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are arriving in south western, south central, and south eastern Canada, and some Rufous Hummingbirds are venturing farther east than their typical range.

Lynda in Chester, NS: “First one [Ruby-throated Hummingbird] we have seen this year.” (05/17/2021)

Joanne in Strathcona County, AB: “This is the second year in a row that I have seen a Rufous here, and the first time I’ve seen one arrive before the Ruby-throat. It was on a feeder in the yard, and we have lived in this location for 30 years.” (05/17/2021)

Peter in Athabasca County, AB: “First sighting at my feeder today at 11:45 am. Male Ruby.” (05/21/2021)

Other Species

Calliope Hummingbirds are nearing the northern limits of their breeding range in Alberta. Broad-tailed Hummingbirds are being observed as far east as Nebraska.

Nancy in Rocky View County, AB: “Appeared to be one Calliope male and later one female at the feeder.” (05/16/2021)

Colin in Gering, NE: “Broad-tailed, adult male at feeder. Likely female or immature Broad-tailed observed 5.17.21 at same location.” (05/18/2021)

Report Other Observations

As migration begins to wind down, be on the lookout for breeding and nectaring activity. If you observe nests, eggs, and/or territorial behavior, please report your observations under Hummingbird, Other Observations.

James in Gulliver, MI: “At least six individual RTHBs observed today at feeder, at least three males and three females seen at one time; variety of periods of tolerating each other or not, with all males, all females, or mixed group perched up to three at once. Earlier in the day, three males sparred with much acrobatic flying around feeder.” (05/20/2021)

Ellen in Littleton, CO: “My female Broad-tailed Hummingbird started building her nest earlier this week, and finished today. She is now sitting on her egg(s)! She chose to build under my patio, on a wicker twinkle light ball next to the laundry room window, near the ceiling of my patio! I am very excited and honored to have her raise her babies right in front of my eyes. She has been visiting us for the past several years, as we began putting feeders up all over our front and backyard.” (05/23/2021)

If you observe hummingbirds nectaring from plants, please report these observations under Hummingbird, Nectaring from Flowers. If you know plant names, submit this information in the comment section. 

Amy in Madison, WI: “Photo is at feeder. Male also did a quick visit to Hummingbird Coral salvia in pollinator garden.” (05/24/2021)