Spring Surge

April 26, 2022 by Team Journey North

May is almost here. Hummingbird activity is picking up and many species are on the move. Are you observing hummingbirds yet? Report your observations to Journey North!

“This represents our earliest sighting by almost a week. First seen at 5:20 PM CDT.” Photo: Jill in River Forest, IL (04/21/2022)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

From the Midwest to Southern Ontario to the Northeast, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have made significant progress north since last week’s update thanks to a good window of weather and strong south winds. The leading edge of migration is hovering around latitude 43-44°N. At this same time last year, the leading edge was slightly behind at 41°N. Many Journey North volunteers are noting early arrivals.

Barbara in Madison, WI: “I saw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird at my feeder at 5:17pm. I watched it sip from the feeder for a minute and then it flew off.” (04/23/2022)

Pam in Seaforth, MN: “One Hummingbird! We were so surprised, got the feeders out as fast as we could and it was drinking at the feeder within a couple minutes.” (04/23/2022)

John in Bloomington, NY: “Our first of the year arrived a week earlier than the past three years. I just got the feeders out about two hours before we saw him. I wonder if he has been in the area feeding on the flowers, waiting for me to get the feeders out. (04/23/2022)

Darcy in Fergus, ON: “Put the backyard feeder out yesterday with just sugar water and got a quick glimpse of this male… he was back twice this morning that we saw. Don’t know if he’s passing through or looking for a female. This was our first spring day over 20C. One of the earliest ever for us.” (04/24/2022)

Virginia in Canton, CT: “Usually my Baltimore orioles show up first in the spring time, but today I saw my first hummingbird at my feeder. As usual, it was a male. I’m still waiting for the Baltimore orioles!!” (04/25/2022)

Rufous Hummingbird

Earlier in the season, Rufous Hummingbirds were moving north along the Pacific Coast up to British Columbia and Alaska. Now, some Rufous are heading inland and arriving in Idaho and Montana.

Pam in Kamiah, ID: “First Rufous of the season!” (04/19/2022)

Kimberly in Rexford, MT: “First hummers!” (04/23/2022)

Other Species

Reports of Broad-tailed Hummingbirds are on the rise in Colorado. Calliope Hummingbirds are making their way through Montana, Idaho, and British Columbia. And Black-chinned Hummingbirds are being spotted in northern Nevada. So many species on the move!

Jo in Fallon, NV: “Black-chinned male feeding/hovering at feeder.” (04/18/2022)

Judith in Estes Park, CO: “Female (no trill in flight) broad-tailed hummingbird. I saw a male broad-tailed at the same feeder yesterday. First male and female of the season.” (04/22/2022)

Barbara in Missoula, MT: “Just opened my front door a minute ago to go out onto the front deck and there was a male Calliope at the feeder. I put my feeders up this past week. Last year my 1st hummer I saw was on April 25th so I’ve been watching. So excited when they return.” (04/24/2022)

Compare Observations Year-to-Year

Ever wondered how your hummingbird first arrival dates compare year-to-year? Explore your previous reports with Journey North by clicking the My Sightings button on our sightings page. What trends do you notice? 

Benna in Bloomington, INAmazingly, after a 1,300-mile trip he was right on schedule … Over the previous 10 years the ‘average’ arrival date has been April [20]. This year, to get ready for our first sighting, we put up our feeders on April 2nd and we have had our cameras set up on tripods for one week.” (04/20/2022)