Is there anything as special as spotting a hummingbird for the first time after its migration? Tracing that colorful flash around the yard until you finally see it hover over a flower or at a feeder–I love it!
Hummingbirds bring a lot of joy to those who love them, and it’s too bad that most of us in North America don’t get to see them all year long.
When hummingbirds arrive depends on where you live. In some regions, people can see hummingbirds as early as March. Other people will have to wait until late May.
Knowing when hummingbirds migrate to your region will help you prepare for their arrival. After all, you don’t want to fill your feeders too early and waste your time and nectar!
Before we talk about when hummingbirds arrive, let’s look at the migratory patterns of hummingbirds across the United States!
Quick-Guide to Hummingbird Arrivals in Each State!
For more information about each state, be sure to click the link that will take you to the Wild Bird Scoop overview of hummingbird arrival and departure weeks as well as state-specific variables!
|State||Month of Arrival||Week of Arrival|
|New Hampshire||May||Week 1|
|New Jersey||April||Week 4|
|New Mexico||April||Week 1|
|New York||April||Week 4|
|North Carolina||March||Week 3|
|North Dakota||May||Week 2|
|Rhode Island||April||Week 3|
|South Carolina||March||Week 3|
|South Dakota||May||Week 1|
|West Virginia||April||Week 3|
How Far Do Hummingbirds Migrate?
Hummingbirds have impressive migration behaviors!
Most species spend their winters in Mexico, Central America, and South America. Then they migrate thousands of miles to their breeding grounds throughout North America.
Here are some fascinating facts about how far hummingbirds migrate:
- Black-chinned hummingbirds may travel as far north as southern Canada and as south as central and southern Mexico.
- Ruby-throated hummingbirds fly up to 1200 miles when they migrate.
- Rufous hummingbirds fly 4000 miles between their breeding grounds in Alaska and Canada to their winter territories in southern Mexico!
Are Hummingbirds the World’s Farthest Migrating Birds?
Despite these impressive numbers, hummingbirds are not the farthest migrating birds.
Arctic terns fly from the North Pole to the South Pole every year. That is nearly 56,000 miles!
Even though hummingbirds aren’t the farthest migratory birds, their ability to fly thousands of miles as small birds is impressive. These migrant birds move from their winter homes in clear migration patterns during the migration season.
While most hummingbirds only fly about 20 miles a day during their travels, ruby-throated hummingbirds cover the entire Gulf of Mexico without stopping!
The distance across the Gulf of Mexico can be up to 1000 miles!
When Do Hummingbirds Arrive in Each Region of the U.S.?
There are several regions and subregions in the US. This article will look at the Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, and West.
Let’s look at the hummingbirds you’ll find in each region’s state and when you can expect them to arrive. Keep in mind that breeds of hummingbirds may have been spotted in a state, but that doesn’t make them regular visitors.
The Northeast comprises Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Jew Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Hummingbirds arrive in the Northeast in April or May. The region’s southern states will see the hummingbirds’ arrival earlier, with Pennsylvania seeing them as early as the first week in April.
Vermont and New Hampshire are the last states in the area to see hummingbirds, usually by the first week of May.
The rest of these states will see hummingbirds begin to visit feeders and gardens anytime between the middle of April to the beginning of May.
Here is a list of the hummingbirds you will likely see in each Northeast state.
Like much of the Northeast, Connecticut only has one common hummingbird: the Ruby-throated hummingbird. If you are lucky, you might also get to see one of the rare visitors to the state, including the Broad-billed, Calliope, Rufous, Black-chinned, and Mexican Violetear hummingbirds.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the only hummingbird species that can be spotted consistently during the summer months in Delaware. Rare visitors include Rufous, Allen’s, Calliope, and Broad-tailed hummingbirds.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are regular visitors to Maine. Rufous, Mexican Violetear, and Calliope hummingbirds have been spotted but are rare.
Like most other Northeastern states, Massachusetts only has one consistent breeding-season native, the Ruby-throated hummingbird.
Rufous, Black-chinned, and Calliope hummingbirds occasionally venture into Massachusetts “accidentally,” whereas Allen’s and Broad-billed hummingbirds are extremely rare.
New Hampshire is home to many kinds of birds, but only one variety of hummingbirds: the Ruby-throated hummingbird. Rufous and Calliope hummingbirds have been spotted in New Hampshire, but only rarely.
The Ruby-throated hummingbird is commonly found in New Jersey, and Rufous hummingbirds are regular visitors to the state.
Calliopes are rare visitors, and Allen’s, Green Violeater, Broad-tailed, and Black-chinned hummingbirds are exceptionally rare. These varieties have only been spotted once or twice in the state’s birding history!
New York is home to Ruby-throated hummingbirds and Rufous hummingbirds. Broad-billed hummingbirds are occasional visitors, and Calliope and Anna’s hummingbirds are rare.
As the westernmost state in the Northeast region, Pennsylvania sees Ruby-throated and Rufous hummingbirds regularly. Anna’s, Allens, and Bahama Woodstar hummingbirds are accidental visitors. Black-chinned and Calliope hummingbirds are rare.
Rhode Island is yet another state with Ruby-throated hummingbirds and very few others. On rare occasions, a Calliope or Rufous hummingbird may be sighted in the state.
Although Rufous hummingbirds have been seen in Vermont, the only hummingbird that consistently spends time here is the Ruby-throated hummingbird.
The Southeast region of the US is made up of Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Because the states in the Southeast are much closer to the wintering grounds of most hummingbird species, their arrival in these states is much earlier in the year.
Florida and Louisiana residents will start seeing hummingbirds during the first week of March. The rest of the states will welcome hummingbird migrants in the following weeks of March, with Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia coming in last by the third week of April.
Here is a list of what kinds of hummingbird species you are likely–or lucky!–to see throughout the Southeast.
If you live in Arkansas, count yourself lucky when it comes to hummingbirds! You have the possibility of seeing up to nine different species in your state!
Ruby-throated, Mexican Violetear, Rivoli, Anna’s, Black-chinned, Rufous, Broad-billed, Broad-tailed, and Calliope hummingbirds range from common to rare in Arkansas.
Alabama may be visited by Black-chinned, Ruby-throated, Broad-tailed, Calliope, and Rufous hummingbirds. Of those, only Black-chinned and Ruby-throated hummingbirds are common.
Florida’s common hummingbirds are Ruby-throated. Rufous and Black-chinned hummingbirds are occasionally present in the state, and other species (Broad-billed, Calliope, and White-eared) are rarely in Florida.
12 different hummingbird species have been spotted in Georgia at least once! Ruby-throated hummingbirds are common, ranging from rare to exceptionally rare: Rufous, Allen’s, Anna’s, Black-chinned, Broad-billed, Broad-tailed, Buff-bellied, Calliope, Green-breasted mango, Mexican Violetear, and Rivoli’s.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds make Kentucky their summer home. Black-chinned and Rufous hummingbirds are rare visitors, and Mexican Violetears have been spotted in the state a handful of times.
Louisiana is another state that sees plenty of hummingbird activity! Ruby-throated and Rufous hummingbirds are common, and the rest of these are either accidental vagrants or rare visitors: Buff-bellied, Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, Anna’s, Broad-billed, Calliope, Rivoli’s Blue-throated mountain gem, Allen’s, and Green-violet ear hummingbirds.
Five species of hummingbirds have been seen in Mississippi: Ruby-throated, Black-chinned, Calliope, Rufous, and Buff-bellied.
Although some of these are incredibly rare, the following hummingbird species have been seen in North Carolina: Ruby-throated, Rufous, Black-chinned, Buff-bellied, Broad-billed, Anna’s, Broad-tailed, Allen’s, Green Violetear, Calliope, and Green-breasted mango.
Hummingbirds that visit South Carolina include only one common species: Ruby-throated hummingbirds. Rufous hummingbirds are occasional seasonal visitors. Other visitors are rare: Anna’s, Allen’s, Black-chinned, Broad-billed, and Buff-bellied.
Tennessee is the natural habitat of Ruby-throated and Rufous hummingbirds. Allen’s, Anna’s, Black-chinned, Broad-billed, Broad-tailed, Calliope, and Mexican violetear hummingbirds may have been spotted on rare occasions, but they are a very unusual sight in Tennessee.
You may be sensing a pattern in the Southeastern states! Ruby-throated and Rufus hummingbirds are common sights in Virginia, but other species are rare: Allen’s, Black-chinned, Anna’s, Rivoli’s, and Violet-Crowned.
Watch for Ruby-throated, Rufous, Black-chinned, and Green violetear hummingbirds in West Virginia.
The Midwestern states are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
The range of arrival dates for hummingbirds in the Midwest is pretty varied. They arrive in some states as early as the first week in April. Other states won’t see their arrival for another month!
Indiana sees hummingbirds first in the first week of April. South Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota won’t see any hummingbirds until the first week of May. Everyone else falls somewhere in between.
Let’s look at what species you can expect to see in these Midwestern states.
In Illinois, you’re most likely to see Ruby-throated hummingbirds. You could also spot Rufous, Mexican violetear, Allen’s, Anna’s, or Broad-billed hummingbirds if you’re lucky.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are Indiana’s only frequently spotted hummingbird. Rufous and Allen are occasional visitors, and all other species are rare.
Iowa is home to the country’s most populous hummingbird: the Ruby-throated hummingbird. Rufous, Anna’s, Broad-billed, and Green violetear hummingbirds are rare sights in the state.
The only commonly-seen hummingbird in Kansas is the Ruby-throated hummingbird. Rufous hummingbirds visit occasionally, and all other hummingbird species have only been spotted a handful of times in Kansas.
Michigan reaches very far north, yet it is another state where the only common hummingbird is the Ruby-throated hummingbird, followed by Rufous hummingbirds. Broad-billed, Green violetear, Costa’s, and Anna’s hummingbirds have all been seen in the state.
Minnesota’s residents can predictably spot Ruby-throated hummingbirds and occasionally Rufous hummingbirds. Anna’s, Calliope, Costa’s, Green violetear, and Rivoli’s hummingbirds are rare sights.
Look for Ruby-throated hummingbirds first in Missouri. If it’s not a Ruby-throated, maybe you have seen a Rufous, Anna’s, Mexican violetear, Allen’s, Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, and Calliope hummingbird. These have all been documented in the state before.
Unfortunately, most hummingbirds are quite rare in Nebraska. Ruby-throated are the most common, as you might have been able to predict! Rufous comes in second, followed by two rare species: Broad-tailed and Calliope.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are only spotted in the Eastern half of North Dakota. Other species are rarer: Calliope, Broad-tailed, Rufous, and Costa’s hummingbirds.
You’re likely to see a vibrant ruby-throated hummingbird in Ohio and much less likely to see Mexican violetear, Rufous, Anna’s, Allen’s, Black-chinned, or Calliope hummingbirds.
Although ruby-throated hummingbirds live in South Dakota year-round, most other species, do not make their way to this state. Rare visitors include Anna’s, Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, Calliope, Costa’s, Rivoli’s, and Rufous hummingbirds.
Like other states, you can easily spot Ruby-throated hummingbirds in most Wisconsin. Meanwhile, Anna’s, Buff-bellied, Broad-billed, Green-breasted mango, Mexican violetear, and Rufous hummingbirds are much rarer.
The Southwest region of the US has the fewest states, but they are big ones: Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. These states have a lot of wide open land and different natural wonders.
Texas, which borders the winter territories of many hummingbirds, starts seeing hummingbirds as early as the first week of March. All other Southwestern states see hummingbirds arriving around the first of April.
Here are all the species you may see in the Southwest region of the US.
There have been 18 different hummingbird species spotted in Arizona! We wrote about them in a recent article here at Wild Bird Scoop.
We finally get to see a hummingbird more common than the Ruby-throated! Arizona’s most populous hummingbird is Anna’s hummingbird.
Like Arizona, New Mexico has tons of hummingbirds! In a Wild Bird Scoop article, we wrote about all 17 hummingbird species that have been documented in New Mexico.
The most common New Mexico hummingbirds are the Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, Calliope, and Rufous hummingbirds.
Oklahoma is less like Arizona and New Mexico and more like the other states on our list. There have been 8 varieties of hummingbirds spotted here. Ruby-throated and Black-chinned hummingbirds are common, and Rufous hummingbirds are seasonal migrants.
Anna’s, Mexican violetear, Allen’s, Broad-tailed, and Calliope have all been spotted in Oklahoma but rarely.
Texas is another state with 18 different documented hummingbird species! Ruby-throated and Black-chinned are common, with all other species ranging from accidental migrants to rare visitors.
The Western United States comprises 11 states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Unfortunately, Hawaii has no hummingbirds at all. The rest of the region sees at least some hummingbird activity every year.
Hummingbirds arrive first in Washington–by the second week of March. The last state to see hummingbirds arrive in Nevada, which doesn’t see them until the first week of May. That’s a two-month difference within the region!
Most states in the region see them arrive in April.
Like the Southwest, the Western states see incredible numbers of hummingbirds. Ruby-throated hummingbirds may be the most populous species in North America, but they tend to stay in the Eastern parts of the US.
The West allows birders to see many different species that they won’t be able to find in the East!
Let’s take a look at the most common hummingbirds in each Western state.
Alaska only sees three species of hummingbirds. Rufous hummingbirds are the most common, but you may be able to see Anna’s and Costa’s if you are in the right place at the right time!
In California, birders have the potential to see up to eight hummingbird species. Common hummingbirds are Anna’s, Allen’s, Black-chinned, Rufous, Calliope, and Costas. You may also see a Blue-throated mountain gem or a Broad-tailed hummingbird.
Hummingbirds in Colorado include Broad-tailed, Ruby-throated, Rufous, Black-chinned, Blue-throated mountain gem, Anna’s, Broad-billed, Mexican violetear, Costa’s, Rivoli’s, Calliope, and White-eared.
Hawaii is the only state in the nation that does not have any hummingbirds at all!
Idaho’s 5 species of hummingbirds are Rufous, Black-chinned, Calliope, Broad-tailed, and Anna’s.
Black-chinned hummingbirds are the most common species in Montana. Rufous, Calliope, and Anna’s hummingbirds are native breeders, whereas Broad-tailed, Costa’s, Rivoli’s, and Ruby-throated are rare or very rare visitors.
Nevada’s most common hummingbird is Anna’s; other natives or visitors include Black-chinned, Costa’s, Calliope, Broad-tailed, Rufous, Ruby-throated, Broad-billed, and Rivoli’s hummingbirds.
In Oklahoma, birders can spot up to 8 species. Ruby-throated and Black-chinned are common, but Rufous, Mexican violetear, Anna’s, Allen’s, Broad-tailed, and Calliope have been spotted more frequently than others.
Utah has 5 common species and 5 rare species of hummingbirds. The common species are Black-chinned, Costa’s, Calliope, Rufous, and Broad-tailed. The rare species are Anna’s, Blue-throated, Ruby-throated, Allen’s, and Broad-billed hummingbirds.
In Washington, Anna’s, Rufous, Calliope, and Black-chinned hummingbirds are common. Occasional or rare visitors are Ruby-throated, Allen’s, Broad-tailed, and Costas.
Wyoming’s hummingbirds include Rivoli’s, Ruby-throated, Anna’s, Black-chinned, Calliope, Rufous, and Broad-tailed.