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Will the ruby-throats be early this year?

Posted by tom123 z9 Fl. ( on
Fri, Jan 26, 07 at 19:48

I know that we are getting some very cold weather in many parts of the Eastern U.S. but generally the weather has been much warmer than most winters. I host Purple Martins. They came about a week early this year. I'm wondering if the ruby-throats will follow suit.

The flowers and bushes that usually herald their arrival are blooming now.

I'm thinking positive thoughts. Now I need to locate the migration map again.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Will the ruby-throats be early this year?

Actually, I think their migration is based on the length of the day. Abundance of food doesn't affect their migration patterns. Though, I wish your theory was true :) Here is the link to the migration map, though 2007 is not up yet, you can link to previous migration dates!! They start to show in my area around April, but 2 years in a row, I see my first at the beginning of June. Christy :)

RE: Will the ruby-throats be early this year?

Lanny puts up the new spring migration map in February probably closer to the end of Feb. but it may be around the middle of the month. He doesn't plot too many of the Fl reports as it is difficult to determine if they are actual migrants or if they are birds that have overwintered in Fl and are beginning to move inland. Our arrival times here in the western NY are sporadic. One year my first arrived on the 28th of Apr. Last year it was the 10th of May and about 3 years ago it was the end of May. BTW, the year they arrived the 28th of April was a brutally cold winter and this little guy was at the feeder one morning at 29 degrees.


Here is a link that might be useful: Spring Migration Map

RE: Will the ruby-throats be early this year?

I am not looking for any until the second or third week in March.

RE: Will the ruby-throats be early this year?

I'm not expecting my first before May 2nd. That's when I saw my first in 2006--a lone male at my Bleeding Hearts. Although I've had a flower garden for many years and had seen hummingbirds from time to time, I didn't start feeding them with sugar water until the summer of 2005. I got really hooked on the little cuties, and paid close attention in the spring of 2006 for their return.

I think it's good to remind ourselves that those first sighting reports are just that--first sightings. I think most of us don't see our first birds until at least a week or two after that, and sometimes not until a month later. Migration is spread out over a period of several weeks to ensure that the entire population is not wiped out by a freak snowstorm, a hurricane, or other disaster. A spread out migration pattern certainly makes sense, but it can drive us hummer lovers nuts when we're waiting for them to return to our gardens!

The birds in our area supposedly return in mid April, but I'll be very surprised (and delighted!) if I see one that early.

RE: Will the ruby-throats be early this year?

I know what you mean, Tom. I just looked at my last years calendar and I had Feb.11 marked as the one day I saw a hummingbird in my yard that late winter/early spring. Who knows with the weather we have been having how the birds knwo what to do. We have been having robins flying around all week and some smaller birds with the forked tail as well. I am hoping my guy that visited a while back will return from wherever he has been!

RE: Will the ruby-throats be early this year?

I've had 2 hummers since October. That was 2 months earlier than previous years. They are welcome to stay as long as they want.

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