Why are Anna’s hummingbirds moving north to Canada?

Anna's hummingbird and winter garden flowers, Canada

Why are Anna’s hummingbirds are expanding their range traditional territory in and around California northward to Canada and even Alaska? Well, the photo above reveals at least part of the answer: because gardeners like me enjoy having flowers blooming year-round. With our relatively mild winters here in coastal British Columbia, that is actually possible!

That photo, along with the video below, were both shot in January: the peak of Canadian winter. Although many people mistakenly think that climate change/global warming are responsible for these hummers moving northward, Canada is (unfortunately!) not yet as warm as southern California. The hummers are not moving up here simply because of the temperature.

However, as we humans colonize the coast and plant new flower gardens, we are definitely expanding the hummingbirds’ food source. And that’s probably a pretty good incentive for them.

That said, winter flower gardens alone are probably not the only reason that Anna’s hummingbirds are moving here. Truth be told, scientists have some of the answers, but not all of the answers, as to why this mass movement of a new species into our region is taking place.

So we may not fully understand why they are here – but we can still appreciate their presence. I hope you enjoy this slow-motion video of one of my regular male Anna’s hummingbirds, a guy I call Squeaky, feeding from the winter jasmine on my balcony a couple days ago – in the depths of Canadian winter!

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Published by Jacqueline Windh

I'm a writer, photographer, and radio broadcaster who is concerned about our planet and how we live our lives - hoping my work helps people to find new ways of thinking about issues such as personal health, wilderness, the environment, food security, thinking about the future. These things are all connected, you know...

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