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Ruby-throated hummingbirds make their return to our region, thanks to our recent warm weather

Unseasonable warmth is causing hummingbirds to migrate to southwest Virginia a little early this year.

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ROANOKE, Va. – Many of us have been loving the warm weather lately and we’re not the only ones. According to Hummingbird Central, a ruby-throated hummingbird was spotted in Roanoke over the weekend.

The sighting comes a little earlier than this year’s forecast migration, which called for the birds to return at some point during the first three weeks of April. Hummingbirds have been sighted as far north as Indiana and Maryland in the past week.

Hummingbird observations (3/30/2020)
Hummingbird observations (3/30/2020) (WSLS)

Many hummingbirds spend the winter months in Central America or Mexico, then migrate north when the weather gets warmer. The ruby-throated hummingbird is the dominant species for the eastern half of the United States, while western states see different varieties like the black-chinned or rufous hummingbird.

Major hummingbird species (3/30/2020)
Major hummingbird species (3/30/2020) (WSLS)

Look for the ruby-throated hummingbirds to be with us through the spring and summer, before migrating to Florida, Louisiana and the south Texas coast in September. They’ll make a final push over Mexico or the Gulf during the fall and spend the winter in the warmer climates.

If you see a ruby-throated hummingbird in southwest Virginia, you can report it to us via email or social media or to Hummingbird Central here.


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