If you have wondered, do hummingbirds migrate or not? The answer is most certainly a resounding yes for these tiny creatures. North America might be the hummer favorite place during most of the summer, but in fact, these birds are tropical creatures. They do love making seasonal trips to save themselves from inevitable harsh weather conditions.
Among the 350 known species, regular migration takes place only between a handful. The only exception is Anna’s Hummingbird, a species that refuses to leave the Pacific coast.
So, you might be wondering exactly where they go and when do hummingbirds migrate. Let’s find out.
All You Need To Know About Hummingbird Migration
The Hummingbird migration map somewhat goes like this- every year, during winter, most of the hummingbirds residing in North America make their trip to either Mexico or Central America. These aren’t exactly long journeys, but if you consider the size of hummingbirds, they do have to make their way through a large expanse of land. Of course, it helps that hummingbirds have perfected flying to the point that they are fast and precise and manage to reach their destination on time.
Just take a look at the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. In weight, it amounts to less than a coin. That doesn’t deter it from conquering the 500-mile journey to Mexico- give or take a day. Yes, that’s how fast they are!
Once winter has almost passed or early spring is just around the corner, they make their way back to North America.
On that note, it should be made clear that the myth about hummingbirds traveling with the help of other birds is false. They are excellent flyers and do not need the help of any other bird. In fact, they are faster than most of the birds traveling with them to the south.
Why Do Hummingbirds Migrate?
As is the case with most migratory birds, the cause of hummingbird migration is the search for food. Once North America starts preparing for winter, they know they would have better luck in the South; finding flowers and insects where it’s summer. A lot of hummingbirds start their journey early – around late summer or fall rather than wait for winter. This is because they want to have more time to migrate while the daylight hours are still long.
You might be interested to know that while hummingbirds do travel south every winter, they do not do it in flocks. They are very solitary creatures and prefer to migrate by themselves rather than do it with their fellow species. This is why you might see some hummingbirds preparing to leave late summer while others take almost half of winter before they are ready to travel south. They do things in their own space and based on what would most suit their feeding habits.