Hummingbird Migration Dates

female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird - 2
female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird at Schuylkill Nature Center

The hummingbirds should be migrating.

Originally published October 2015,dates still apply.

I spotted this female Ruby-Throat at the Schuylkill Nature Center in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia last Wednesday.
At first I heard a squeaking noise and then I realized it was a hummingbird. She flew right by me and sat on the thin branches of a tree, not more than fifteen feet from me.
Several days later, another female Ruby-Throat hovered less than six feet from me when I was at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve in New Hope Bucks County.
So, the female Ruby-Throats are still in the area.
The Ruby-Throated hummer is the only hummingbird that lives and nests in the Philadelphia area. The male as a sparkly deep ruby red colored feathers on its throat. The female has plain white feathers.

Another hummingbird the Rufous Hummingbird is a regular rare visitor to Pennsylvania during migration. This hummingbird frequents backyard hummingbird feeders during their migration from August to December. The Rufous doesn’t nest in Philadelphia or Pennsylvania. The Ruby-Throated does nest in the state.

Now it a good time to put out hummingbird feeders to attract hummingbirds to your garden. Many of these small birds will be passing through on their migration down to Central America.

The hummingbird migration dates vary according region of the country.This chart covers the eight most common species that breed in North America. This information is helpful in knowing when to place your nectar feeders out in your backyard habitat gardens. If you don’t live in the Philadelphia area, any bird field guide will tell you which species you can expect to find in your neighborhood.

Eastern Northward Southward
Ruby-throated late February to mid-May late July to late October
Western Northward Southward
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

For a great hummingbird feeder nectar recipe, try four parts water to one part sugar. Dissolve the sugar in the water and place it hummingbird feeder. Chane the sugar water frequently as it can spoil quickly in the sunshine.

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