For the most part, hummingbirds are migratory birds in USDA zone 6, which is defined by areas with an average winter temperature between -10 and 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Hummingbirds fly south into Mexico where they spend the winter before making their way back north for the summer. Although most species begin migrating in March, when they will reach the feeder in your yard depends upon where you live.
Northwestern United States
In the northwestern United States, zone 6 includes western Washington and Oregon, northern California and parts of Idaho. Hummingbirds seen here include black-chinned, Calliope, broad-tailed, broad-billed, Rufous, Costa's and Allen's hummingbirds. These birds migrate into the area at the end of March or in early April. It is also possible that some of these areas could see Anna's hummingbirds year-round since they do not migrate, although they typically stay closer to the coast.
Southwestern United States
Southwestern states in Zone 6 include central Nevada, most of Utah, northeastern Arizona and parts of New Mexico. Hummingbirds in this area, like the broad-tailed hummingbird, tend to migrate later in the spring and are usually seen in early April, although they could appear toward the end of March. Other hummingbirds seen in this area include black-chinned, Costa's, calliope, Rufous, broad-billed, Allen's and Lucifer hummingbirds. Anna's hummingbirds may also be seen on rare occasions in the winter in some of these areas, although it typically lives further west.
Midwestern United States
Midwestern states in zone 6 include northern Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas along with southern Kansas, Missouri and Illinois. Hummingbirds seen in these areas include ruby-throated, black-chinned, Rufous, green violetear, magnificent and Calliope. Most hummingbirds will show up sometime in April, early in the month for southern areas and later for more northern ones.
Southeastern United States
Southeastern areas in Zone 6 include Kentucky; northern Tennessee; parts of Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina; and most of West Virginia. Hummingbirds in these areas typically show up from mid- to late April, although some hummingbirds have been sighted earlier in the month. Species common to this area include ruby-throated, Rufous, black-chinned and green violet-ear hummingbirds.
Northeastern United States
Northeastern areas in Zone 6 include most of New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island; southern Pennsylvania, and parts of New York and Massachusetts. Hummingbirds commonly seen in these areas include the ruby-throated, Calliope and Rufous hummingbirds. Allen's and black-chinned hummingbirds have also been seen but are less common. These birds migrate starting in March, but won't be seen in the Northeast until the end of April or early May.
- Operation RubyThroat: Hummingbird Checklists by State (U.S.)
- Birds-N-Garden: Hummingbirds - Spring Arrival Dates
- The United States National Arboretum: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
- National Geographic: Rufous Hummingbird
- National Geographic: Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
- National Geographic: Black-Chinned Hummingbird
- Photo Credit Dynamic Graphics Group/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images NA/Photos.com/Getty Images Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images NA/AbleStock.com/Getty Images Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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