Spring 2014 Ruby-throated Hummingbird Migration

I realize that this is the 2nd post in a row about hummingbirds, but hey ~ what can I say? I just love these glistening little jewel birds! And nothing makes me happier every Spring than to spot my very first hummer of the season. In fact, it's kind of become a tradition in my family to be the first to spot one!

Anyways, while I was puttering out front on this mild morning, a neighbor friend stopped in while making rounds walking her dog. We shared how we're beginning to see different birds arriving at our feeders, in the trees, or on the roof tops. She's had a cardinal pair, I've had the male cardinal and a goldfinch pair, and she spotted 2 bluejays flying through the neighborhood. She also shared that she's actually tracking the hummingbird migration this year because she's so excited to see them stop in at a new feeder she'll be hanging out in front of her kitchen window.

It may seem silly to some of you, but to those of us who have had more than enough of this ridiculously long, cold winter (we had a storm that dropped 6" of snow only a couple of days ago!), just the thought of hummingbirds arriving is enough to spur many of us through another transitional week of our seemingly much delayed arrival of Spring!

So, when I got inside, I took a moment to see for myself just where these tiny little creatures are right now. I also compared their current status to where they were at this time last year. Thankfully, and even surprisingly, they really aren't that far behind in their migration this year compared to last year. Phew ~ I guess that means by the end of April, we should be seeing a hummingbird or two around these parts. Oooo, I can't wait!

Here's where they've been and are, as documented by various spotters around the states:

I'd like to think that my feeder is one stop that's written down somewhere in the hummingbirds' handbook as one that's a definite on the feeding site checklist for places to land. According to Hummingbird Journey North, "Most of these birds DO return to the same feeders or gardens to breed year after year. What's more, they often stop at the same spots along the way and arrive on the same date! Not bad for birds with brains no bigger than a grain of rice."  

Although scientists still aren't sure exactly how each of these hummingbirds know where "home" is for them, the fact is that most do return to the same spots, and that just tickles my insides to know that somewhere out there, MY hummingbirds are returning home after a long vacation. And I'll be ready with pretty flowers and fresh nectar just a waitin'!

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