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 Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Status in Michigan
Fairly Common Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

Use the links below to view the Ruby-throated Hummingbird reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Ruby-throated Hummingbird sightings.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird Archives Reports
Fall 2003 133
Spring 2003 96
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 119
Summer 2002 32
Spring 2002 115
Winter 01-02 0
Fall 2001 180
Summer 2001 51
Spring 2001 48
Winter 00-01 0
Fall 2000 97
Summer 2000 38
Spring 2000 86
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 37
Spring/Summer 1999 31

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Archilochus colubris (Linnaeus)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Summer resident, common in the Lower Peninsula, comparatively rare in the Upper.

First listed for Michigan by Sager (1839: 415).

SPRING.-Migrants have been reported in southern counties in late April, but mainly in mid-May; in the Upper Peninsula after the third week in May.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Toledo-Erie marsh area individuals have been reported as early as April 27; arrival of individuals averages May 12 and the beginning of the main flight, May 16 (L. W. Campbell, 1940: 191, 204). About Detroit (Swales, 1903: 35; and notes) and at Ann Arbor, arrival has been reported usually in the first or second week of May, rarely in the last week of April. Usually very few of the species have been observed there in a day, but on June 5, 1907, there were 40 to 50, "probably a portion of a belated migration" (on Grosse He, south of Detroit). Arrival has been re- ported in Kalamazoo County usually by the second week of May, occasion- ally earlier (Gibbs, 1885: 134; F. W. Rapp, 1931: 17); in Berrien County by May 6 (N. A. Wood, 1922 :17) ; in Grand Rapids by May 8 (Gibbs, 1902:10) ; at Sand Point, Huron County, by May 11 (1933, D. W. Douglass). On Charity Island, Huron County, about 30 at a time were observed in May, 1910 (N. A. Wood, 1911: 97; 1912a; 185).

Upper Peninsula. - Christofferson (at Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County, and at Blaney, Schoolcraft County) and Bryens (at McMillan, Luce County) have reported the Ruby-throated Hummingbird fairly regularly each spring, noting arrival generally in the fourth week of May- very seldom earlier. In the Huron Mountain region, Marquette County, this species has been found by May 31 (S. S. Gregory, Jr., 1929:179); and at Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, in 1931, on May 27 and regularly there- after (N. A. Wood, 1933: 721).

SUMMER.-Nests and eggs are found from early June to early August.

Lower Peninsula.-Swales (1903: 35) listed the hummingbird as a fairly abundant summer resident in the Detroit area; he recorded a set of 2 fresh eggs on July 15, 1896. Just north of Detroit in Oakland County, Moody (1903: 83-84) found 2 nests in 1903, 1 with 1 egg on June 3, the other with 2 eggs on June 9. In the vicinity of Battle Creek Walkinshaw found one nest as early as June 1 (1930) and another as late as July 15 (1923). R. B. Westnedge (Barrows, 1912: 387-88) found nests in Kalamazoo County from June 3 (2 eggs, 1892) to July 26 (2 eggs, 1891). N. A. Wood (1922: 17) listed the species as a common summer resident in Berrien County; he found a nest with 1 egg there on June 1, 1918. In northwestern Huron County, N. A. Wood and Gaige (1911: 288) discovered a nest under construction as late as August 14, 1908; H. W. Hann found a nest in that area on July 2, 1932. Chaney (1910: 274) noted the species as fairly common about Hamlin Lake, Mason County, in 1909; in the Douglas Lake area, Cheboygan County, Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) recorded 10 nests with eggs, most of them in July, and found 1 nest with 2 eggs as late as August 5.

Upper Peninsula.-One of the few breeding records from the northern part of the state is a nest and eggs found on June 21, 1931, at Mineral Springs, Mackinac County, by Lyie Miller (1934: 43). T. D. Hinshaw and R. A. MacMullan found the species uncommon on Drummond Island, Chippewa County, in the summer of 1938; N. A. Wood (1918: 8) found a pair nesting near Whitefish Lake, Alger County, in 1916; and S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929 : 179), listed it as uncommon in the Huron Mountain region, Marquette County. John L. George and R. L. Patterson found a nest on August 15,1938, at Golden Lake, Iron County. The species was listed as uncommon in the Porcupine Mountains, Ontonagon County, by N. A. Wood, Peet, and McCreary (1906: 116), and also on Isle Royale by Max M. Peet (1909:357-58).

FALL.-Migrants are reported in the Upper Peninsula in August and early September, in southern counties usually in late September.

Upper Peninsula.-A few individuals were noted on Isle Royale, in late August and early September (N. A. Wood, Peet, and McCreary, 1906: 124; Max M. Peet, 1909: 357-58), and the species was found in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, until September 8 (S. S. Gregory, Jr., 1929: 179). Bryens (at McMillan, Luce County) and Christofferson (at Blaney, School- craft County, and at Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County) have seen a few hummingbirds rather regularly through early or middle September, and occasionally in the last week of the month. Relatively large numbers in Chippewa County were a group of 50 on Sugar Island, August 13, 2023 (noted by Christofferson and Miss McClinchy), and 10 birds at Whitefish Point, September 3, 2023 (seen by Fargo).

Lower Peninsula.-"Immense numbers" of hummingbirds (apparently several dozen) that had congregated in a woods near Ellsworth, Antrim County, were observed by Swales (notes) on August 17, 1903. In Kalamazoo County (Gibbs, 1885: 134) reported departure usually by September 25, though individuals occasionally remained a little later-until October 4, according to F. W. Rapp (1931: 17). In the Ann Arbor region and about Detroit (Swales, 1903: 35; and notes), several a day have been seen through most of September, and in 1914, Max M. Peet took a specimen (Max M. Peet collection) at Ypsilanti as late as October 1. Now and then on Grosse He (south of Detroit) there were 1 or 2 in October, to October 9 (1913, fide Swales). In the Toledo-Erie marsh area, where L. W. Campbell (1940: 99, 191, 204) recorded concentrations in the latter part of August, he has found the main flight ending on the average by September 13, though it has continued until September 23 (1932), and individuals have remained until early October.

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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