Migration Update: October 12, 2012
Please Report
Your Sightings!

Week #8: Still Seeing Hummingbirds? Let Us Know!
Sighting reports still hold steady with last week. Most are single females or juveniles. Find out why fat is a fabulous fuel for hummingbird migration. Keep feeders up and sightings coming!

Please continue report your sightings , but DO NOT REPORT if hummers are gone. The map shows where hummers are present.

Migration Map
Hummingbird fall sightings
Animation | Live Map
Highlights from the Migration Trail

Holding Steady
Plenty of hummers still around! Nearly 500 new reports showed up on this week's map, almost the same as last week. Just 8% of this week's reporters saw adult males. Still, many people are down to just one at the feeder, while others are surprised that hummingbirds are still around:

"Students in our 3rd grade class saw a hummingbird today (10/9) at our feeder. We were surprised to see one, since most of them are gone." — Cub Run Elementary, Kentucky

"We have not seen a hummingibird in 10 days but we just saw one. The date was October 10th. I guess it was coming south and it got thirsty and it saw our juice. It was 44 degrees F and it was cloudy. The hummingibird was a girl."—Grade 2, Pleasant View Elementary in Monroe, Virginia

"I was happy this morning just to see one of the last hummers [Rufous] for the season coming through. I expect (from many years of observation) to see stragglers now and then for the next three weeks." —Janette in Carnuel, NM

Watching the Weather

"Cold front on 10/7/12 seemed to drive them on and did not see any for a couple of days. Then saw one lone female feeding at feeder and flowers (10/10)." —Christina in Denison, Texas

"Two cold nights and POOF!!! mostly gone (10/10)." —Debra in Meridian, Mississippi

"Our numbers have gone down with the passing of the last cool front few days ago." —Miriam in Mer Rouge, LA

Glad They Kept the Feeder Up!

"The one little immature male straggler was still at my feeder this morning. It's like he missed the bus!" —Teresa, Champaign, Ilinois

"I was about to put away my feeders since I've not seen any hummers for 2 weeks. Suddenly a lone hummer showed up and just sat there feeding. Returned several times. Its been really cold lately. I hope this lonely straggler will make it south for the winter. Good luck little guy." —Bruce in Willowbrook, Illinois

You can read all of the observations here.

Images of the Week

Leaving Canada?
Anna's Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird at feeder
Hello, Rufous
Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird at feeder
Hey, Guys! Still Here?

Tip: "I bought another feeder this past weekend so I could switch them out, bringing one in to warm, then putting the warmer one out again. Works much better." —Sherry in Indiana

Awaiting News From Wintering Grounds

We're watching our migration map, hoping to hear when hummingbirds arrive safely on the wintering grounds. This range map shows where Ruby-throated Hummingbirds spend winters and summer so you can see where they're headed.

Last week's report introduced Patricia, who is awaiting hummers at her home in Costa Rica. This week she writes:

"We usually see them approx 23 October. An acquaintance in Guatemala has seen them, though..."

Ruby-throated hummingbird migration map with sample distances traveled.
Home Sweet Homes
Pigging Out: Food Means Survival

"They are dining up a storm," said Jill in Bellevue, Washington.

Many observers also note that their hummingbirds are at the feeders for longer periods of time. What's the reason for all the pigging out? Why is fat the ideal hummer fuel? Find the answers — along with this week's journal activity:


Fluffed-out hummingbird at feeder
What's Happening?
Snaphots in Time

Your photos capture the fascinating story of hummingbird migration for us all, and we are grateful to see them! Here are more photos we received this week:

Hummingbirds crowd the feeder. Hummingbird in cold weather

Rufous Hummingbird caught for banding

It's a Crowd
Clare Prejean

Brrrr! Go South!
Leslie Bergum

Caught for Banding
Bernice Ziniewicz
The next "Still Seeing Hummingbirds?" reminder will be posted on October 19.