Migration Gaining Momentum

April 19, 2022 by Team Journey North

Hummingbird activity is picking up and the leading edge of migration is moving northward. Are you observing hummingbirds? Remember to report to Journey North! Species tracked include Ruby-throated, Rufous, Allen's, Anna's, Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, Calliope, and Costa’s.

“Our first hummer of the season!! This male Broad-tailed hummingbird has been hanging out in our yard all afternoon.” Photo: Patrick in Colorado Springs, CO (04/09/2022)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The leading edge of Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration is moving north. Some Journey North volunteers are noting early arrivals. Clusters of reports are coming in from Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey. And there are isolated reports as far north as Michigan, where hummingbirds face winter-like conditions.

Emilie in Louden, NJ: “First male of the year arrived last night 4/14/2022 around 6:45pm after some rain. He came back to the feeders multiple times. 6 days earlier than last year.” (04/15/2022)

Tilly in Sanford, MI: “We’re shocked, it’s 35 degrees, there’s a slight touch of snow in the air, and at 5:45 PM an ‘Early Bird’ hummingbird appeared at our south window … So, our earliest feeder (ever) is positioned outside with big, red, velvet bows as a beacon for any [other] early birds.” (04/16/2022)

Karen in Troutville, VA: “First [Ruby-throated Hummingbird] sighting this year.” (04/16/2022)

Diana in Parkville, MD: “First male of the season spotted at feeder several times. Ten days earlier than last year!” (04/17/2022)

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbirds are a wide-ranging species and breed farther north than any other hummingbird. Explore our Hummingbird, Rufous (FIRST) map to get an idea of how far they travel.

Abby in Tye, TX: “Saw her fly to the feeder, though it was a Ruby-throat at first. Then saw the orange. We don’t usually see the Rufous in the spring here.” (04/04/2022)

Sandy in Summerland, BC: “First Rufous at feeder.” (04/08/2022)

Mary Jo in Elfin Cove, AK: “One male Rufous at our feeder. The blueberries are blooming and await the bird’s attention.” (04/11/2022)

Other Species

Black-chinned Hummingbirds are moving northwest through New Mexico and Utah. Calliope Hummingbirds are arriving to breeding territories in the Pacific Northwest. And male and female Broad-tailed Hummingbirds are returning to Colorado.

Carla in Ivins, UT: “1st male Black Chinned hummer at feeder this morning. I haven’t been able to observe this year’s hummers coming in so he could have been here earlier.” (04/05/2022)

Jill in Seven Bays, WA: “We now have 2 male Calliope’s and our neighbors have been seeing Hummingbirds at their feeders as well.” (04/10/2022)

Patrick in Colorado Springs, CO: “We had our first female Broad-tailed Hummingbird of the season today! We’ve had at least 1 male every day for week, including today.” (04/16/2022)

William in Arroyo Hondo, NM: “First 2022 sighting of a male Black-chinned Hummingbird at nectar feeder at this location, 7:24 A.M. 04/16/2022. Arrival time is very consistent with past 15 years of observations. Sagebrush ecosystem along Rio Grande flyway. High mountain valley (~6500 feet elevation). Cool days & below freezing nights continuing. Hummingbird is making frequent visits to the nectar feeder as he explores his territory.” (04/16/2022)

Report Observations and Put Nectar Sources Out 

If you haven’t already done so, put hummingbird feeders and potted nectar plants are out, and plant nectar-rich flowers in gardens. These nectar sources provide crucial energy for migrating hummingbirds. Be ready for early arrivals and report your observations!

Cass in Renick, WV: “Just saw my first Ruby-throated hummingbird for 2022, a male. I have had an empty feeder out since Monday and decided to put food in it this morning. Within an hour of doing so I spotted him and he was eating. It’s 3 days earlier than April 2021.” (04/14/2022)