The Migration Process
Male Ruby-throats will set out first for the coast, followed by the females who will depart approximately 10 days later. The entire hummingbird migration process spans a period of about 3-months.
Planes are scheduled to take off at various times to prevent accidents. Hummingbirds follow this same routine during hummingbird migration. If the hummers were to leave all at once and a weather catastrophe would occur, it could likely destroy the entire species. This explains the reason why only a few Ruby-throats will be spotted in the beginning of the hummingbird migration. The remainder of birds will arrive later, sometimes by a span of several weeks. Northbound hummingbird migration is typically concluded by mid-May.
Once the flowers cease blooming and insects are scarce, sometimes as early as mid-July, hummers start preparing for migration again. However, the majority of them will leave late August and early September for their southward hummingbird migration.
To begin their journey home (south) the hummers will follow the same hummingbird migration process as when they travel northbound.
Naturally, we do not know all the specifics of hummingbird migration, but we do enjoy and appreciate the laborious journey these tiny travelers make each year to our backyards!
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