Hummingbirds Observed Amid Ranging Temperatures

February 10, 2023 by Team Journey North

It is mid-February. Is the first flush of spring migration just around the corner or still weeks away? There are a few reports of winter resident hummingbirds from the southern U.S. Many of us are still waiting for the return of hummingbirds after a long winter.

Rufous hummingbird at feeder. Photo: Mary in Alamogordo, NM. (12/21/2022)

Weather Whiplash

From the arctic blast that occurred over the holidays to pulses of warmer January temperatures, the weather across North America has been unpredictable. How are migratory birds, like hummingbirds, dealing with this weather whiplash?  

If you live in an area where hummingbirds overwinter or observe early migratory arrivals, please report your observations to Journey North. Also, don’t forget to put your feeders out. In cold weather, feeders provide valuable calories to hummingbirds.

Sophie in Kernersville, NC: “Here’s our sweet little Raphy (subadult male Rufous/Allen’s) at his favorite feeder this afternoon. It was a beautiful, warm, Spring-like day here. We hit 70 degrees! In the 10 day forecast, temps are predicted to be mild, with the exception of a cold day and night on Sunday. (02/08/2023) 

Beverly in Houston, TX: “Brr this morning today. Male rufous zooms in and out visible at feefer at daylight. Then goes out back to same ole potted plant Rockin deep purple salvia. Briefly stuck his tongue in apple tree blossom. Ignored blooming potted buchananii orange salvia…” (02/09/2023)

Mary in Alamogordo, NM: “I am still seeing this adult male Rufous. It is very elusive, and I usually just see it first thing early in the morning. These visits from this Rufous continue to break previous records. I have never had an adult male hummingbird of any type this early n the year that overwintered. Alamogordo, New Mexico 1/2/23. I did not know where to make this post because it is not a “First Rufous”. It has been here all winter even though I don’t see it every day.” (02/02/2023)

Mark in Cliffdell, WA: “Anna female 2 miles east of Cliffdell, WA.” (02/05/2023)

A Note About Reporting “First” Observations

It can be difficult to determine if a first observation is a first observation of a migrating hummingbird and not a hummingbird that is overwintering. During this early period of migration, please share if you think you’ve observed a migrating hummingbird or a winter resident. And if you’re uncertain, please let us know.

Track the Migration

How is winter weather impacting migration? Are hummingbirds being observed in their expected range? Your observations help answer these and other questions. Explore our maps to compare past and current data. This season, report your observations.

Link to Spring Reporting Instructions>>

Thank you for your participation!