In On the Move, our regular column about migration, we present pairs of distribution maps from eBird that you can use to compare where interesting birds are at different times of year. We featured Calliope Hummingbird, pictured above, in our August 2015 issue.
Calliope Hummingbird is North America’s smallest breeding bird and the world’s smallest long-distance avian migrant. These eBird maps show its distribution in August and January over the last decade. Calliope breeds in southern British Columbia and Alberta and throughout much of the northwestern United States. It generally follows an oval-shaped migration route: north in spring along the Pacific coast and south in fall along the Rocky Mountains. The August map shows reports throughout its breeding range as well as sightings of southbound migrants. Most Calliopes spend the winter in western Mexico, where they are rarely reported, and a few are found every winter in the Southeast, from Texas to the Carolinas, where they often are first detected at feeders. As the January map shows, stragglers have been found as far north as southern New England.
eBird is the real-time online checklist operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon. “On the Move” is written by eBird’s Garrett MacDonald, Chris Wood, Marshall Iliff, and Brian Sullivan. Submit your bird sightings at ebird.org.
A version of this article appeared in “Birding Briefs” in the August 2015 issue of BirdWatching. Subscribe.
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