Feb 28 2012
We had another dose of winter last weekend but spring is on its way and with it will come the hummingbirds.
Most ruby-throated hummingbirds spend the winter in Central America but in early spring an internal clock makes them restless to move north.
Dedicated observers have recorded hummingbird sightings on the Journey North hummingbird website since 1997. Because of this data we know that a few hummingbirds are present in the U.S. all winter and that migrants begin to arrive in early March.
In Florida and along the Gulf Coast, birders and hummingbird banders are prepared for those first intrepid hummers who make an early journey to the States. Behind the pioneer birds will come a wave of hummingbirds that will wash over Pittsburgh in late April.
The first birds will be here in seven or eight weeks. Check Journey North’s animated Spring 2012 ruby-throated hummingbird map to find out where they are now. Check again each week and you’ll be ready when the ruby-throats get here.
(photo by Marcy Cunkelman)
p.s. Don’t miss Marcy’s story about how she took this picture. See the first comment below!