Thoughts of Spring

February 22, 2022 by Team Journey North

March is approaching and excitement is building for the spring migration season. We all look forward to the return of hummingbirds after a long winter. This spring, report your hummingbird observations to Journey North and help document their migration.

“Although I have feeders out, I haven’t seen her use them yet. She is feeding on Shrimp plants (in pots on my back porch) and Firecracker plants.” Photo: Clara in Angleton, TX (01/05/2022)

Spring Is Near

Spring is under a month away. Are you ready for hummingbirds? If you live in an area where hummingbirds overwinter or you observe early migratory arrivals, put your feeders out. In cold weather, feeders provide valuable calories to hummingbirds.

Pam in Murrells Inlet, SC: “Female ruby-throat still visiting feeder regardless of our snow and fluctuating temperatures.” (01/29/2022)

Linda in Ocala, FL: “Throughout the day an individual hummer will be feeding at the 3 sugar water feeders as well as at the shrimp plants. I have observed both a male and female at different times, but I do not know if they are the same hummers or different ones. I am surprised they are still in Ocala, FL, as we have had several nights of at or below freezing temperatures.” (02/01/2022)

A Note About Reporting “First” Observations

It can be difficult to determine if a first observation is actually a first observation of a migrating hummingbird and not a hummingbird that is overwintering. During this early period of migration, please share if you think you’ve observed a migrating hummingbird or a winter resident. And if you’re uncertain, please let us know.

David in LaGrange, GA: “This guy [Ruby-throated Hummingbird] has spent the winter at our house. I Keep his feeder clean and fresh every 3 days. Also we’ve had a Rufous since November.” (02/08/2022)

Alice in Newport, NC: “Continuing to observe our 2 overwintering females/juveniles at our feeders several times a day.” (02/17/2022)

Chris in Chico, CA: “1st Rufous.” (02/17/2022)

Track the Migration

How is winter weather impacting migration? Are hummingbirds being observed in their expected range? Your observations help answer these and other questions. Explore our maps to compare past and current data. This season, report your observations under the following categories:

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbirds: When will migrating Ruby-throated Hummingbirds first arrive? Report under the category: Hummingbird, Ruby-throated (FIRST
  • Rufous Hummingbirds: A few reports have already come in. Migration significantly picks up in mid-March. Report under the category: Hummingbird, Rufous (FIRST)
  • Other Species Sighted: Other species tracked include Broad-tailed, Black-chinned, Allen’s, Costa’s, Calliope, and Anna’s HummingbirdsReport under the category: Hummingbird, Other Species Sighted
  • Other Observations: Report observations such as courtship, territorial, and nesting behavior. Report under the category: Hummingbird (OTHER Observations)
  • Hummingbirds Nectaring From Flowers: Report hummingbirds you see nectaring at flowers. Try to include the name of the flower. Report under the category: Hummingbird, Nectaring from Flowers

And if possible, photos are always helpful to include in reports. Welcome to spring migration season!