• Tricia Edgar

The Rufous Hummingbirds Are Back!

Photo: BryanHanson

What a delight! Yesterday I looked out of the window of my home office and saw a rust-coloured hummingbird sitting on our currant bush instead of our usual male Anna's hummingbird. The Rufous Hummingbirds are back!

These tiny birds can fly from southern Mexico and make their way as far as Alaska. They tend to return to the same area at the same time every year. If you have a hummingbird in your yard, it's possible that it was born in your neighbourhood.

Hummingbirds use moss and lichen in their nests. Photo: Melodi2

Hummingbirds are only found in North, Central, and South America. They make nests out of materials such as moss, lichen, and spiderwebs. Don't tidy up outside yet - the hummingbirds might need those spiderwebs to hold their nest together.

If you'd like to go hummingbird-spotting, you can see whether others in your area have found hummingbirds and add to this hummingbird map.

A hummingbird's wings make sounds, and hummingbirds themselves make noise when they are engaging in courtship displays with lots of diving through the air. You have probably heard them but not realized that what you were hearing was a hummingbird. Here is the sound! Listen for it in the coming weeks.

The salmonberry flowers feed hummingbirds in early spring.

If you would like to feed hummingbirds, you can do so in several ways:

  • Plant flowers that hummingbirds like. West Coast Seeds has a flower mix.

  • Keep your native vegetation like salmonberry bushes. Rufous hummingbirds' migration is timed to coincide with the opening of plants with hummingbird-friendly flowers, particularly the salmonberry.

  • Fill up a hummingbird feeder. Make sure that you avoid adding dye and change the hummingbird food regularly, especially as the weather gets warmer. Wild Birds Unlimited has instructions for you.

Happy hummingbird watching!


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