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Hummingbirds stop in Utah on their migration from Canada to Mexico

A coppery-colored hummingbird with a red feathery throat is flying to the right.
VJAnderson
/
Wikimedia Commons
Rufous Hummingbirds migrate through Utah at the end of July.

There are at least five species of hummingbirds found in Utah. Tonya Kieffer-Selby, Conservation Outreach Manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said the Rufous Hummingbird passes through Utah around the end of July on its migration from Canada to Mexico.

“It's cool to see them because they're a very different color than most others - hummingbirds are usually that iridescent green color, these guys being copper, but they're very aggressive. So that's one of the species we'll be focusing on catching up at our hummingbird event up in Dutch John,” Kieffer-Selby said.

On July 30, DWR biologists will host a hummingbird banding demonstration at the Red Canyon Lodge. Kieffer-Selby said the event offers an intimate wildlife experience, and tickets are already sold out.

“Oftentimes the public gets a one-on-one interaction with the birds; many of our public have been able to hand hold and release these birds in person. And you don't get to do that anywhere," Kieffer-Selby said.

For those who cannot attend the event this year, Kieffer-Selby said there are other ways to see hummingbirds.

"Hummingbirds can be found in the middle of the desert. And they can be found at the alpine lakes of the Uintas. ...Of course, they're in search of nectar plants and food. So the more pollinator plant species that you can plant in your yard, ...the more you're going to notice them. Now hummingbirds are known to see that red color as a sign of food, …And so a lot of folks put up these red hummingbird feeders so that you can attract them to your home whether or not you have pollinator plants,” Kieffer-Selby said.

While wildlife professionals generally advise against feeding wildlife, Kieffer-Selby said feeding hummingbirds is an exception.

“With the amount of habitat that we've lost all over the U.S., especially in Utah, and pollinator plants maybe not being in abundance, we encourage people to actually feed hummingbirds, because they may need that in order to make it to their next location if they're migrating through,” Kieffer-Selby said.

Fill your hummingbird feeder with a simple sugar water solution and see what species of hummingbirds are in your backyard.

Caroline Long is a science reporter at UPR. She is curious about the natural world and passionate about communicating her findings with others. As a PhD student in Biology at Utah State University, she spends most of her time in the lab or at the coyote facility, studying social behavior. In her free time, she enjoys making art, listening to music, and hiking.