Birders in the eastern part of the continent are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the fascinating and charismatic Ruby-throated Hummingbirds that spend the warm months in our backyards and gardens. For many, the sound of buzzing wings and bubbly chirps is as much a true sign of spring as any warbler or swallow.
The operators of Hummingbirds.net offer a cool litle piece of citizen science that’s also a service to birders with their yearly map that tracks the northward movement of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the eastern US and southern Canada. The map is regularly updated with sightings collected from reports made directly to hummingbirds.net. What results is a fairly accurate snapshot of the advancing Hummers, with each week designated by a different color.
As you can see Rubythroats are well into the southeast by now, with a few reports as far north as Ohio and northern Virginia. They won’t likely stay put for long though, so if you’re south of that line, or even a little north, you might want to get your feeders ready.