Shifting Focus

May 24, 2022 by Team Journey North

Spring migration is winding down and hummingbirds are shifting their focus to the breeding season. Be on the lookout for territorial behavior, courtship displays, nests, eggs, and nectaring activity.

“Catching the ruby-throat in just the right light! Ruby-throated Hummingbird sipping on the firecracker plant.” Photo: Marjorie in Lowell, MI (05/19/2022)

Ruby-throated and Rufous Hummingbirds

With June approaching and spring migration beginning to wind down, reports of first sightings are slowing. More Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are reaching the northern limits of their breeding range throughout Canada. And Rufous Hummingbirds are being spotted at the eastern edge of their breeding range in Montana and Alberta.

Shari in Grande-Digue, NB: “Ruby-throated hummingbirds came together for hours to feed today. They came back the next morning too, hopefully to stay for the season.” (05/17/2022)

Tara in Uncas, AB: “[Ruby-throated Hummingbird] seen at feeder at approx. 8:30 AM MST.” (05/17/2022)

Nancy in Calgary, AB: “Rufous male observed at feeder.” (05/17/2022)

Sherri in Libby, MT: “Saw first male Rufous on feeder today.” (05/18/2022)

Other Species

Black-chinned Hummingbirds are arriving in British Columbia and Alberta. And in northern Idaho, four different hummingbird species are passing through!

Pam in Kamiah, ID: “Several males and females. Calliope, Anna’s, Rufous, first Black-chinned male.” (05/17/2022)

Gregg in Coldstream, BC: “Male Black-chinned hummer.” (05/21/2022)

Christopher in Burmis, AB: “Female Black-chinned Spotted at the feeder. First one of the year.” (05/22/2022)

One Journey North volunteer had a special sighting of a Broad-tailed Hummingbird in British Columbia. This species is rarely seen in Canada as their breeding range does not extend that far north.

Henry in Midway, BC: “Male Broad-tailed Hummingbird. A first if I have the ID right.” (05/23/2022)

Report Other Observations

If you notice territorial behavior, courtship displays, or hummingbird nests and eggs, please report your observations under Hummingbird, Other Observations. And if you see hummingbirds feeding on flowers, please report these observations under Hummingbird, Nectaring from Flowers. If you know plant names, submit this information in the comment section. 

Marjorie in Lowell, MI: “Male ruby-throated hummingbird on the pink salvia. The female showed up a little later and then I saw the courting display!” (05/17/2022)

Bernice in Mountain Top, PA: “As far as I can tell, I have at least 8 Ruby-throated hummingbirds so far. At one time I seen 5 females and at one time 3 males. I always hang a few feeders in my shrubs. The females seem to really like that, they seem to get a break from the males. Another observation of mine is that the females seem to tolerate each other and for the most part get along.” (05/22/2022)