Hummingbirds in Winter

Hummingbird feeding for most North Americans is purely a summertime activity. The first hummingbirds generally arrive in the north just as the flowers begin to bloom in late spring. And these energetic little gems generally disappear long before the last of the leaves drop, seeking warmer climates with year-round nectar supplies. But many FeederWatchers, particularly in the southeast, may want to resist the urge to pack away their nectar feeders when the pumpkins arrive.

From the Pacific coast through Arizona, along the Gulf coast, and into the southeast, hummingbirds are being reported by FeederWatchers year-round. Anna’s Hummingbirds are resident in much of the west from Baja California to southern coastal British Columbia, so sightings of this species are common at feeders in the winter. However, many other western hummingbirds seen in winter are species that should be elsewhere at that time of year, including Allen’s, Rufous, and even a few Black-chinned hummingbirds. These species nest in the west, but generally winter in Mexico and points south.

The Allen’s, Rufous, and Black-chinned hummingbirds seen in the winter are individuals that lingered behind their migrating brethren, playing the odds that a more sedentary lifestyle will not lead to a shorter lifespan.

Read more about Hummingbirds in the winter on Wildlife Busters blog……