Signs of Springtime

March 15, 2022 by Team Journey North

Hummingbirds are on the move with spring just days away. Report your first hummingbird observations of the season to Journey North. Species tracked include Ruby-throated, Rufous, Broad-tailed, Black-chinned, Allen’s, Costa’s, Calliope, and Anna’s.

“Half a dozen or so Rufous and Anna’s hummingbirds at 6 feeders and succulent flowers all day long for the last 3 weeks.” Photo: Susie in Orange, CA (03/08/2022)

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration is off to a slow start this season. While Journey North volunteers along the Gulf Coast and in the Southeast are noting new arrivals, the total number of reports is lower than at this same time last year. Explore our maps and see if you notice any patterns and when reports might pick up.

Harold in Pascagoula, MS: “Full adult plumage male ruby-throat seen feeding on bottlebrush.” (03/06/2022)

Deborah in Ramer, AL: “First hummingbird came to where I hang my feeders. I’ve never seen one this early!” (03/10/2022)

Rufous Hummingbirds

Rufous Hummingbirds are venturing into British Columbia! And reports are still coming as far south as Texas. The Pacific Northwest remains a hotspot of activity.

Leslie in Carlton, OR: “Our first Rufous male hummingbird arrived at our feeder on March 5. So happy to see him! Didn’t have our camera handy on March 5. Photo is from March 7.” (03/05/2022)

Clara in Angleton, TX: “He only stayed 1 day. He visited my feeder several times. I have not see him or any other hummingbirds since.” (03/05/2022)

Dave & Sandy in Forks, WA: “I always have a test feeder hanging outside our family room with nectar in the fridge. As I was putting a fresh feeder outside (in my red raincoat), I heard the familiar wings humming behind me. Next thing I knew, the little guy was right in front of me, less than 2 feet from my face, as if to say ‘I’m back! Thanks for the food!’ “ (03/12/2022)

Gary in Delta, BC: “First Rufous Hummingbird of the year, a male, 2 days earlier than 2021. Always a pleasure to see them back. With the Anna’s hanging around in Fall and Winter we tend to forget how much smaller the Rufous are.” (03/12/2022)

Other Species

Black-chinned Hummingbird observations continue to increase in Texas.

Nancy in Boerne, TX: “Black-chinned. Only one so far.” (03/10/2022)

Glenda in San Marcos, TX: “The first hummer of the season was spotted today! Male black-chinned. I’m so excited!” (03/10/2022)

Barbara in San Antonio, TX: “Male Black-chinned? (03/11/2022)

Put Feeders Out and Plant Pollinator Habitat

Some Journey North volunteers are reporting early arrivals. It is time to put your feeders and potted nectar plants out. These nectar sources provide crucial energy for migrating hummingbirds. And depending on your location, start planting brightly-colored native flowers to provide pollinator habitat for hummingbirds and other species such as monarch butterflies. Don’t delay – hummingbirds are here! 

Chris in Tallahassee, FL: “I’m happy to see my first male hummingbird back a few days earlier … He used the feeder on my front porch.” (03/10/2022)

Call for Photos

If possible, please include photos in your reports. Photos are always helpful; they aid in identification and shed light on behavior. However, hummingbirds are not always cooperative subjects. One potential workaround is to take a video and then extract a screenshot to use as a photo. Give it a try!