Hummingbird migration is one of spring’s highlights. Most years, these birds surprise us, zipping around the yard before we’ve even thought about hanging out the feeder.

But here’s something you count on, like clockwork: As spring moves northward, so do these birds, following above-freezing temperatures and spring blooms.

Hummingbird migration is a product of instinct and nature. Most researchers agree that feeding hummingbirds will not alter these migration patterns, and many gardeners like to extend the feeding season to support migrating birds.

Read: How to Make Hummingbird Nectar and Refill a Feeder Fast

Ruby-throated hummingbird perched on a twig
Ruby-throated hummingbirds get their name from the male’s distinctive red throat below a gray feathered chin. (©Igor Kovalenko, Adobe Stock Photos)

Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds

The most commonly watched species of hummingbird is the colorful and spunky ruby-throated hummingbird.

Of 300 species of hummingbirds — 16 of which breed in the United States — it’s the most common one seen east of the Mississippi River. Its summer habitat includes the eastern half of the U.S. and southeast Canada.

Spring hummingbird migration varies year by year, but this chart will help you get ready for hummingbirds in your area:

Migration Maps

The flutter of these tiny hummingbirds northward across the migration map is exciting to behold, and it begs even casual birdwatchers to participate in recording their progress.

Further Information

For more information about different species of hummingbirds, their feeding, habitats, and arrival dates, check out:

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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