Amazing Hummingbird Species Migration in the Eastern US

It's time to start looking for the only hummingbird species that regularly occurs in the eastern US!

Rob Ripma

As spring approaches, most birders in the eastern United States get excited about the return of the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds to their yards.  Many of us are regularly checking and their awesome migration map to see how close the hummingbirds are getting to us. You can also learn about other hummingbird species on this website such as Rufous Hummingbird, which is the next most likely species to find in the East. provides great maps that keep track of where the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are during spring migration. You can follow along as the maps are updated by following this link. provides great maps that keep track of where the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are during spring migration. You can follow along as the maps are updated by following this link. 

To me, the migration of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is really incredible. After spending the winter months in Central America, these tiny birds fly directly over the Gulf of Mexico landing along the US coast. This takes about 18-20 hours of non-stop flight. There is nowhere to land and rest during this time over the open water, so no matter what conditions these birds encounter, they must keep going. Bad weather or unfavorable winds can spell disaster but still most birds survive their journey.

You can learn all about attracting these beautiful birds to your yard by reading this article by experts Kenn and Kim Kaufman! Have you seen your first Ruby-throated Hummingbird of 2014 yet?

  1. Cynthia says

    I saw my first hummer feeding this morning @ 7:27. I’m in GA. 20 miles east of Atlanta. 5 miles east of Stone Mountain. I was shocked. It was 36 degrees out this morning.

  2. Donna says

    Still have a way to get to NH, but am holding to Mother’s Day for their arrival. But will keep checking the migration map!

  3. Jeanine Indelicato says

    I live in Hanahan, S.C. and put out our hummingbird feeder last week. I’ve seen 2 different hummingbirds on the feeder. One is definitely a ruby throated hummingbird! I’m not sure what kind the other one is?

  4. Stephen Dodd says

    So I live on the Pacific Ocean in Oregon. I see humming birds even in winter. But I don’t know what type they are or how to attract them. I put out the red sugar water but don’t get more than one or two. I know they fight over domination of it. One more aggressive one controls while other sneak in. I wish I know more about how to make them happy.

    • Magic Physicist says

      Those ar Anna h-birds and btw NEVER put that red food color in the water.

      The feeders have enough color.

      I do make mine sweeter than people say but after 30 years of doing this and having close to 100 h-birds most of the seasons I must be good at it by now.

      I am north of you on the NE Olympic Peninsula.

      We have those bigger Anna h-birds all winter too……..and then Rufus show up by March 10th every year.

      Once they find that you have food they like you will get the same family’s over and over and more and more.

  5. connie hagler says

    I live in Southwest Mo and I had one hummingbird at my feeder on Sun April 13 around 1:30 I put up one feeder a couple of weeks ago….I will be putting up a few more feeders in the coming days…

  6. Kitty Towery says

    I had my first hummers over a week ago, around Apr. 6th. I’m in Catawba, SC, just outside Rock Hill, SC & 30 miles south of Charlotte, NC

  7. Magic Physicist says

    I have the Annas here all winter (4 pairs) and the first week of March the Rufus h-birds show up.

    Already went through 50lbs of sugar here this spring and have over 60 h-birds and this is of course before the babies.

    So they empty the 4 feeders every 2 days or faster but after about 2 months the boys fly off and it is mainly moms and babies of the future here (except the Annas stay and they never fight with the little Rufus)

    I get close to 100 here once in a while…..only had about 50 last year.

    Been feeding them here since 1984 so I don’t know what they will do when I am gone.

    • Ann says

      MAGIC:- I have often thought about the same thing; what will happen when we leave here, I just hope whoever buys our place will continue feeding the birds, not just in summer but winter too. We live in Ontario, Canada and our winters can be brutal (especially this year!!)

  8. Doris Harris says

    I enjoy my hummers. I get ruby-throats here. I put my feeder up before I went to the hospital on 3/26 for surgery. When my husband checked it when I got home 5 days later the food was gone. I didn’t see the first one to let me know for sure they were here for about 4 or 5 days. I usually see them about 4/5 each year. I’m making their food sweeter right now because I want to get their picture in my redbud tree. I put the feeder up and when I want to take the pictures I take it down so they will either collect nectar from the blooms or perch on a limb. The pink with the green makes a pretty picture.

  9. Sandy Franks says

    I live on the Arkansas Oklahoma border and I have had my feeders out for about two weeks and have had ruby-throats everyday for the last 8 days.

  10. Sandra Jackson says

    I put my feeders up back in March, but didn’t see the first hummer til 4/5 However sparrows had a feast at the feeders. They really made a mess tho, spilling the sugar water everywhere.

  11. Cathy says

    I have already seen 3 hummingbirds feeding at my feeder in the last week or so. I live in Eastern Kentucky…

  12. Lorine says

    I have had many h-birds at my feeder on a barrier island in SW fl. Mostly ruby throats but one with a yellow breast.

  13. Mary Ventullo says

    I live in NE Iowa and don’t usually see them until the first week of May. Tomorrow, I plan on putting the feeders out for any early arrivals.

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