Just wondering if anyone is from Ohio and if so, when do you usually see your first hummingbird? One migration map that was suggested said April. Is that what your experience has been?
tamsea, I'm not in Ohio, but rather in southwestern Pennsylvania, less than 50 miles from the Ohio state line. Our return times here in western PA are pretty similar to those for most of Ohio. You didn't say where you are located in Ohio, and that could easily make a couple week's difference in return times. The extreme southwestern corner of Ohio can get them as early as April 1st, but areas around Cleveland in the northeast might not get them until April 15th or so. In the Pittsburgh area, where I'm located, the first ones may show up as early as the 5th of April, in some years, or maybe as late as April 14th or so in slower years. Click on the link to the hummingbird first arrival map and you will see what I'm talking about. You can look at other years and see that return times vary from year to year.
I am pretty new to feeding hummingbirds, so can't give you lots of years of personal info. What I can say is that in western Pennsylvania, although there were reports of hummingbirds as early as April 11th and April 14th in 2006, I didn't see my first until May 2nd. It was a lone male, feeding at my Bleeding Hearts. I didn't see any females until at least a week after that. The lesson in all of this is that although it's useful to look at the migration maps, you need to realize that these are first reports. The migration is drawn out over several weeks, and you may not see your own local birds until weeks after the first are seen in your general area. That doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong, just that individual birds come back when they're good and ready. I think this is nature's way of protecting them from natural disaster. If all of them came back on the same day, the entire population could perish in a late spring snowstorm. If the weather is good, the early birds get a great head start. Mother nature is wise, and does what's best for the population, but can sometimes be very cruel to those that arrive too early.
So, depending on where you are in Ohio, a nice average return date might be about May 1st. You can put your feeder(s) up on April 1st, (just in case) but I wouldn't really expect to see one before mid April, or early May. If you are in northeast Ohio, you might even have to wait until mid May for the late migrants. It varies.
I hope this helps. Take a look at the migration map and you will see the progress of migration for the current year, 2007. Scroll down below the map and click on previous years (written in purple) to see first return data. From this, you will get an idea of when the very earliest birds get to various parts of Ohio and the rest of North America.
Here is a link that might be useful: Hummingbird migration map
Kristin, I'm in NW Ohio. Toledo area. Thanks for the info. I'll put the feeder up in April just to be safe.
The first report for Toledo last year was April 13th. so I would put up at least one feeder around the first week of April.
How did you know when the hummingbirds were first spotted in Toledo last year?
I don't mean to butt in on your question for Penny, but I think I can answer. Just click on the Hummingbird migration link in this thread. Then scroll down below the map and you will see previous years listed in purple. Click on "2006" and you will see a completed map of all the first arrival dates recorded for Ruby-throats in 2006 for the US and Canada. If you turn your attention to northwestern Ohio, in the Toledo area, you will see a little green dot with a 4/13 beside it. That corresponds to the first sighting in your area in 2006. If you want to look at other years, you can, of course, click on those and get a feel for the variation in timing from year to year.
I assume that's where Penny got her info. If she wants to chime in and tell you otherwise, she's certainly able to do that. I'm pretty sure that's where she got it.
Kristin is partially right. I do check the map, but I also check the data entries at Journey North for 2006 and compare them to the map. I also have a copy of each state map with most of the cities plotted. (I get a little obsessive this time of the year).
Here is a link that might be useful: Journey North Field Notes
Kristen, somehow I saw those little green dots but didn't even see the dates beside them. :)
And Penny what an interesting sight. I checked it out. Thanks for looking it up for me.
I am in Southeast Ohio...Washington County. I always get anxious and put my miniHummzinger out on the 1st of April...to little avail. I saw my first hummer last year on 4/15...and my first one in 05 was spotted on 4/16.
I'll follow your example and put mine out the first of April, even though I'm farther north then you.
Hey Ron, if you're regularly getting hummingbirds that early in southeast Ohio, you should consider submitting a report to that hummingbird website that records first spring arrivals. The past two years, you've been right in there with all the other first reports.
Depending on how the migration progresses, I may put a feeder up as early as April 1st, but I'll be astonished if I see a bird before April 15th. If I don't see one by early May, I'll start to get worried.
Here is a link that might be useful: hummingbirds.net report form for first sightings of 2007
I've submitted reports the last two years...seems like someone in my general area always beats me to it.
Ron, Keep trying. You're very close to being first. Maybe this will be the year!
I'm nowhere close to being first. While others in my (our) area were seeing birds in early to mid April, I didn't see my first bird until May 2nd.
I'm going to make an effort to get the feeders out in early April. I will watch as much as I can and hope that they will be earlier this year than last.
Hi There! I live in northeast ohio, any tips on attracting hummingbirds? The only hummingbirds I've ever seen were in southern ohio in a rural area. Do you have to live in the country to get hummingbirds? I live in an urban area, but I have my feeder out and some red flowers and I am keeping my fingers crossed.
nursecynthia, I live in northeast ohio, cleveland area and I get hummers, so no you dont have to live in the country.I usually see my first around the middle of may,so hang your feeder keep it clean and be patient they will find it, good luck :)
Hey all, I am in SW Ohio, I saw my first a couple of days ago.. usually alot sooner than now in previous years, was watering front shrubs near house and startled one out..
wasn't sure at first what it was but it hovered a sec and I got a better look! Hope it sticks around..
I live in Columbus in the burbs and I get a few hummers each year. I work during the day, but on the weekends I see them fly in for my trumpet vine. I don't recall dates for first siting, but they do come to me in the city and it seems like there has been more in recent years. Probably has more to do with my maturing garden than anything.
I LIVE IN A CONDO COMPLEX. I GET THEM EVERY YEAR. AS EARLY AS THE 1ST OR 2ND WEEK OF APRIL. MASON IS ABOUT 20 MILES NORTH OF CINCINNATI.
Hummers arrived April 27th, 2010 of last year. I always put the feeder out about 2 weeks before. I clean them every two days.
Here in the Dayton area, we usually don't see our first until very late April or early May. We don't keep an official journal but my memory is of those dates. We enjoy them all summer long! We enjoy sitting outside on the patio and just enjoying "the view".