Spring is here, and so are hummingbirds. The map bellow, created by Lanny Chambers of St. Louis, Missouri, tracks the northward migration of the ruby-throated hummingbird, based on sightings by other bird lovers around the country. Chambers collects reports of first hummingbird sightings and marks them by hand on this map. He has made similar maps going back all the way to 1996.


Hummingbirds spend the winter in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and Central America, and some cross the Gulf of Mexico during their northward migration in early spring. In February, the birds were mostly confined to the Gulf coast. By March, they had spread through most of the South. Chambers says hummingbirds should reach the D.C. area in another week or so.


The 2014 map above suggests that hummingbirds will probably spread throughout Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and elsewhere by the end of April, and then reach Minnesota, New York and New England in May.

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