JEFFERSON CITY, Mo - If there is a hummingbird feeder hanging in your garage, put it out quick. The first hummingbird of the year has reached southwestern Missouri, and more are sure to be close behind.
Lanny Chambers, of Fenton, Mo., maintains a website that tracks the progress of the spring migration of ruby-throated hummingbirds. That website, www.hummingbirds.net/map.html, shows a sighting March 26 at Forsyth, Mo., near Lake Taneycomo. Sighting reports are posted daily, so anyone who visits the site can follow the migration's progress.
This year's first arrival is on pace with those Chambers has recorded in recent years. Rubythroats also have been seen in extreme southern Illinois. After crossing the Arkansas-Missouri border, hummingbirds take two to four weeks to reach the Iowa State Line. Hummingbirds move north quickly after crossing Missouri. Last year the birds arrived at their most northerly nesting sites in central Canada in mid-May.