Winter hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are found during the winter in a number of areas of the United States and even in southern parts of Canada.  Arizona has hosted not only Anna’s Hummingbird during the winter but also Black-chinned and Costas Hummingbirds. Anna’s Hummingbird are year-round residents along the Pacific Coast from Baja California north as far as parts of British Columbia and  sometimes other hummer species show up in these areas during winter months.

The Gulf Coast states from Texas to Florida along with other Southeastern states host a number of wintering hummingbirds. From late fall through early winter Rufous Hummingbirds are the most frequently reported hummer species in the Eastern U.S.   This is very interesting since this species breeds from the far southeastern coast of Alaska down through western Canada into northwestern states.  An interesting article on Smithsonian.com describes how hummingbird banders are at the forefront of documenting the changing migration of these Rufous hummers.

Rufous and other hummers are being reported also in more northern states during late fall and winter in the East, Mid-West and even into southeast parts of Canada. There is even a hummingbird banding and research group that focuses on the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana areas.

There are current reports (through Nov. 8) of a Calliope Hummingbird near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and of an Allen’s Hummingbird (through Nov. 11) in southwestern Massachusetts.

If you want to keep out one or more hummingbird feeders this winter but are in a location where they may freeze, the pioneering hummingbird bander and researcher Bob Sargent has some excellent information on the Hummer Bird Study Group website. That website also has pages with species accounts for several hummer species that is most interesting including the following: “Rufous hummingbirds are very cold hardy. They are hatched in a cold climate, they spend nights on nesting grounds where the temperatures are near freezing. They migrate down mountain corridors where the temperatures are cold. Finally, these U.S. Rufous are continually being refined by the genes of cold hardy ancestors that have endured severe winters.”

Do you keep one or more hummingbird feeders out into winter?

Have you ever had hummer visits to your feeder in winter?

  1. Joani says

    I do have hummingbirds in the winter. There is a year-round resident in my area. He is always chasing off the others. But, once in awhile they sneak in. I love having them all the time. They even like taking a bath in the winter in the small fountain I have running just for them. I’m in Arizona.

    • says

      Hello Noelle,
      Wow, having Anna’s Hummingbirds year round you can see through your kitchen window is fantastic. Hummers just aren’t here in Colorado during the winter.

      Noelle is also a blogger for Birds and Blooms Magazine and she lives in Arizona where several species of hummers can be found in the winter.

  2. Robert Jenkins says

    Here it is November 18th and I just saw a Ruby Throated Hummingbird in my backyard feeding on some blooming
    Pineapple Sage. I have never seen hummers this late here in central Virginia before. The latest I have ever seen them
    previously was the first week of October.

  3. says

    We live in Tenn. and we had the most humming birds in our area that I have ever seen. In the month of Aug. 2012 there just hundreds of them around the feeders for about 3 weeks. After that they thinded out and then were gone. I expect a lot more back this coming summer.

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