Journey South News: Fall 2011


Posted Fridays: Aug. 26, Sep. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21
Ruby-throated hummingbird migration map with sample distances traveled. Week #8: Still Seeing Hummingbirds? Oct. 14, 2011
The first ruby-throats should be reaching Costa Rica right now, at the far end of the wintering range. A hummingbird that migrates from Quebec to Costa Rica would travel 3,500 miles! How far must one travel from your hometown to the hummingbird's winter home?
Cold hummingbird in Missouri
Week #7: Still Seeing Hummingbirds? Oct. 7, 2011
Fat and fluffy, eating voraciously, and trying to cope with cold. That's how the week went for hummers in the north. Now that September has gone and so have most hummingbirds! Image: Eleanor Briggs
Hummingbirds at feeder courtesy of Harlen Aschen
Week #6: Still Seeing Hummingbirds? Sept. 30, 2011
As September came to a close, hummingbird numbers dropped dramatically. During the past week, a ten-fold fall was not uncommon. The migration map is starting to show their absence. Can you tell a male from a female? Take a look! Image: Harlen Aschen
Peak Hummingbird Migration in Texas
Week #5: Still Seeing Hummingbirds? Sept. 23, 2011
"We were going through a gallon of bird soup a day!" proclaimed a Corpus Christi, TX, observer who fed 150 hungry hummingbirds in his backyard. "The numbers grew and grew until Sept 21. Then suddenly, most were gone." It was another peak week in the Gulf coast states. Observers share photos, videos and words of awe. Image: Harlen Aschen
Rufous hummingbird in Washington
Week #4: Still Seeing Hummingbirds? Sept. 16, 2011
It was the second week of peak migration in southern states. "It is simply incredible. I can literally feel the wind generated by their wings!" wrote a woman in Louisiana. A hummer stopped for a sip--and her picture--while passing through Washington. Texans share concerns about the effect of drought. Image: Jack Moskovita
Hummer in the rain
Week #3: Still Seeing Hummingbirds? Sept. 9, 2011
Over 1,000 people reported hummingbirds this week. Some saw one. Others said they saw "too many to count." What are you seeing now that September is upon us? Watch a video clip of a hummer in a thunderstorm. See if you can solve a mystery: "I have a creature feeding outside my front door. WHAT is it?" Video: Christina Rollo
Hummingbird sitting in a woman's finger.
Week #2: Still Seeing Hummingbirds? Sept. 2, 2011
It's early September and the hummingbird migration map is about to change. Hummers are disappearing in the north and appearing in the south in larger numbers. Observers share a heart-warming picture, words of wisdom, a yearning for spring, and a heart-felt goodbye. Please report your sightings!
Picture of a male ruby-throated hummingbird hovering at feeder
Seeing Hummingbirds?
Get ready to report your observations this fall as hummingbirds leave your backyard and migrate to their wintering grounds. With your help, we'll make a migration map to show where hummingbirds are present from August through December.