The Hummers are on the move. Yes, The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have arrived back in North America and are making their way north to the good old Delaware Valley.
The hummingbirds have already arrived in the deep south (or never left). The website Hummingbird Migration tracks the northward migration of the hummingbirds. Naturalists like you and me input the date that the first hummingbirds arrive in their area.
Using the Hummingbird Migration website to checking past years data, helps to know when you should put out hummingbird feeders in your area.
The Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds usually arrive in Philadelphia in early April. I will be putting my feeder out the last week of March.
Ruby-Throats are the only hummingbird species that regularly calls this area home for the summer breeding and nesting season.
Studies have shown that the Ruby-Throated moves northward as three key flowers come into bloom. Those plants are Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia), Clove Currant (Ribes odoratum) and Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis). Now we know what to plant for those early arriving Ruby-Throats.
The hummingbird migration dates vary in different regions of the country. Some areas have several species regularly nesting in their area. Field guides can tell you what species to expect and when. The following chart covers the eight most common species that breed in North America.
|Ruby-throated||late February to mid-May||late July to late October|
|Allen’s||January to March||mid-May to September|
|Anna’s||does not migrate;
shifts to local areas with more food
|Black-chinned||mid-March through mid-May||mid-July – November|
|Broad-tailed||March to May||August to October|
|Calliope||March to May||late July to September|
|Costa’s||late January to February||September to October|
|Rufous||February to May||late June to September|
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