Advancing in April

April 5, 2022 by Team Journey North

Fluctuating spring weather is slowing migration for some hummingbird species and quickening it for others. As the season progresses, remember to plant nectar-rich flowers and put feeders out. And report hummingbird observations to Journey North. Species tracked include Ruby-throated, Rufous, Allen's, Anna's, Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, Calliope, and Costa’s.

Photo: Clara in Angleton, TX

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The leading edge of migration largely remains where it was last week. Clusters of reports are still coming in from East Texas, Arkansas, northern Alabama and Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. Reports are also picking up in southern Virginia.

So far, the pace of migration is slower than last year. This is no surprise given the winter-like start to spring across much of the northern U.S. and Canada. Migration can be a stop-and-go journey with wind and weather in control. Explore our Hummingbird, Ruby-throated (FIRST) map to compare migration year-to-year.

Julie in Whitwell, TN: "11:11am Our first visitor of the season has arrived to The Sugar Shack! Happy Humming!" (03/31/2022)

Helen in Chesapeake, VA: "Just like clockwork! Thrilled to see the male arrival." (04/02/2022)

Irene in Winston-Salem, NC: "A male Arrived today at around 3:45pm." (04/02/2022)

Rose Anne in Little Rock, AR: "Put a feeder up yesterday. Today I’ve had 2 hummingbirds buzzing me & drinking from the feeder! I’m so happy they’re here!" (04/03/2022)

Rufous Hummingbird

Unlike the slower pace of Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration, Rufous Hummingbirds have already made it to Alaska! The first reports came in on April 1. Last year, the first report was April 12. Alaska is the northern extent of this species' breeding range.

Bob in Craig, AK: "First male Rufous hummingbird made his appearance today. I have one more feeder to put up if it's finally done freezing at night now." (04/01/2022)

Fabienne in Juneau, AK: "No April Fools, first male rufous at the feeder on a cold rainy day. The blueberry bush flowers are opening which almost always coincides with their return. So happy to see them back!!" (04/01/2022)

Tania in Osoyoos, BC: "First male Rufous Hummingbird at my feeder and resting on a branch of the Flowering Almond bush at 2:10 pm." (04/03/2022)

Other Species and Observations

Cause for celebration: Calliope Hummingbirds are back in the Pacific Northwest! 

Jill in Seven Bays, WA: "First Hummingbird this Spring! Male Calliope. Our 2 Anna's left on Valentine's Day!" (03/30/2022)

Earlier in the season, Costa's Hummingbirds were being spotted in Arizona. Now, they've made it to Nevada.

Marjorie in Tucson, AZ: "Female Costa's hummingbird sipping on the salvia plant in my backyard. Tucson, Arizona." (03/07/2022)

Jennifer in Las Vegas, NV: "Purple throat hummingbird seen on 3/31/22 Las Vegas, NV." (03/31/2022)

Noticing Nectaring Behavior? 

Flowers and clean and fresh feeders will attract the hummingbirds. Be ready when hummingbirds arrive in your area: plant nectar-rich flowers in gardens and put feeders out. If you observe hummingbirds nectaring from flowers, please report under the category "Hummingbird, Nectaring from Flowers".

April is Citizen Science Month!

In just a couple of years, Citizen Science Month has grown from a single day of events, to a coordinated effort supported by SciStarter, the National Library of Medicine, Arizona State University, the Citizen Science Association, Science Friday, National Geographic, and many other collaborators from around the world. Citizen Science Month encompasses online events and opportunities to contribute to citizen science initiatives from home. This April, Journey North celebrates our volunteers and encourages others to join this important effort. Watch our Journey North video to learn how to participate. 

Note: There will be no Hummingbird News Update next Tuesday, April 12. Weekly updates will resume Tuesday, April 19.