Living in NE Atlanta we traditionally receive only the ruby-throated hummingbird in these parts. However, occasionally during the winter, the rufous hummingbird comes to us as a lost vagrant.
I shouldn’t really say lost we’re not sure why this hummingbird is here. This small bird is found in the NW and Canada during the summers and should migrate back 3,900 miles to Mexico every winter. They migrate in a clockwise motion going up the west coast and come back down through the Rocky Mountains. How they get so far east of the Rocky Mountains during their return trip is anyone’s guess but they do on occasion show up here!
There are other hummingbird vagrants that show up as well but the rufous is the most usual of our unusual hummingbirds. Some people in Georgia see so many of them that they will keep their hummingbird feeders up all winter.
Here’s a great pic I found on Twitter. Thanks to @NaturePH0T0S for the twitter post.
Rufous Hummingbird pic.twitter.com/0bw0eHA7AG
— Nature Photography (@NaturePH0T0S) January 27, 2017