Migration Update: April 11, 2012
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It is time to zip into "territory mode" for the male hummers. As they are arriving on their nesting grounds, males are competing for nectar-rich, sheltered areas to lure the right female for their mates. Hummingbird migration is in full swing and 2012 continues to be interesting year for the record books.

Today's Report Includes:

Image of the Week
hummer antics
Credit: Russ Thompson
Hummer Antics
News: Migration is Heating Up
This week we continue to see the abnormal ruby- throated migration pattern.

Sightings of those early spring risk-takers, that took advantage of strong southerly winds last month, are still being reported. Temperatures have cooled, but rubythroats can handle some cold for short periods.

Meanwhile the bulk of the migration is following a more common pattern with the leading edge in Kansas, Kentucky, and Maryland.

Compare 2012 with a more "normal" migration in 2011 (to the right).

Rufous have reached Alaska! Feeders were up and ready, and fresh migrants were sighted in 2 coastal towns this week—Wrangell, and Sitka.

The rufous migration is starting to push east, too. A rufous was sighted east of the Cascade Mountains in Washington state, "...about a week later than normal." A welcome rufous was sighted in Zigzag, Washington, a welcome sight where they've had an "unbelievably wet" spring full of rain and snow.

2012 Migration
2011 Migration
female rufous
Credit: John Doerper
Bellingham, WA
Slideshow: Males on a Mission
Male hummers heading north have no choice in the matter. They have an overwhelming urge to set up territories, defend food sources, and more. And that's no easy task! Discover why.

Latest Maps
"Welcome Back!"
As ruby-throats advance northward, the thrills of first sightings continue. "First Ruby at feeder! Spring is here!!!"
reports Beverly in Pawnee, Oklahoma. Will the first hummer you see be a male?

male ruby
Credit: Graham Slater
Ooltewa, TN
ruby map ruby map ruby map
(map | animation | sightings)
(map | animation | sightings)
(map | animation | sightings)
The next hummingbird migration update will be posted on April 18, 2012.