Although it may seem crazy to think about, especially for many of us in areas of the United States that are still very cold and snowy, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are already heading north and are being seen in parts of the Southeastern US.
A very popular site for tracking this hummingbird’s northward migration is Hummingbirds.net, which I bet many of our readers are familiar with. They added the first hummingbird of this year’s migration to their map on February 22. You can follow all of the reports from Hummingbirds.net here. This website will give you a good idea of how migration is progressing, but to see more reports and more detailed locations of where Ruby-throated Hummingbirds may be near you, check out eBird.
Using the simple “Species Maps” function on eBird, I made a map of all reports for Ruby-throated Hummingbird during 2015. (Learn more about these maps and how to use eBird in this previous post.)
You can see that there have been many reports of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds already, including many that spent the winter in the Southeast. Keep an eye on this map as the spring progresses and you will see how the reports rapidly spread north!
Have any of you in the Southeast seen their first Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the year yet?