Hummingbird Migration Update: April 2, 2009

Today's Report Includes:

Please Report
Your Sightings! >>

What's his secret? >>
Photo: Martin Dollenkamp
The Migration: Highlights, Maps, and Questions

Distribution Map


This Week's Map >>
Week-by-Week Animation >>
Sightings >>


This Week's Map >>
Week-by-Week Animation >>
Sightings >>

Handouts: Today's Hummingbird Map Questions
Rufous Questions >                Rubythroat Questions >   
An observer wondered what this hummer was up to. Think, then see what our expert thinks! >>
Highlights: Wet, But Still on the Move!
"Our class is sooo excited!" say fourth grade observers from Ozark, Alabama. "We have been waiting for 2 weeks to see some hummers. We saw them today at 10:45 a.m. There were 4 hummers together. From the same state, another observer writes, "We've had 2 inches of rain with the past hour. The hummingbirds are going crazy." Look at this typical forecast map from last week to see why. >>

Despite all the stormy wet weather in the country, you still reported 80 new rubythroat sightings this week. How would you explain that? Hint: If you were a migrating hummer, imagine where you might hang out in bad weather.

The reports are pouring in, but does that mean the migration is surging northward? Take a look at our week-by-week animation. Look at the pattern of new rubythroat sightings this past week. How would you describe the progress of the migration?

Out West, hungry rufous hummingbirds are still piling up just north of the border. But it looks like one might be further north and east than the others. Is this just a wanderer or the start of a trend? Stay tuned in weeks to come!

This week, explore the migration maps, observer reports, a cool view from space, and more. Then come back next week to discover how migrating hummingbirds use their amazing acrobatic abilities to survive!

  • This Week's Observations from Citizen Scientists >>
Journal: Seeing Spring Changes from Space
Handout >>

Snapshots of our globe from space can sometimes help us see the big picture! What does this April satellite image "tell" you about the Ruby-throated hummingbird migration?

  • Click for a larger image and questions >>

  • Write your ideas on this Hummingbird Journal page >>

Image: NASA
How To: Create a Haven for Hummingbirds!

Photo: Ed Robertson

Hummingbirds rely on nectar for the quick energy they need to migrate, find and defend food sources, and more. You can attract hummingbirds to your schoolyard, and help them survive their long journey, by hanging and maintaining a feeder. If you also grow a hummingbird garden to provide natural nectar plants, you'll offer a feast they can't resist! It's time to start planning your hummingbird habitat or garden.

  • How to Create a Haven for Hummingbirds! >>
This Week's Hummingbird Resources
    Coming Next Week: Students from Mexico and the United States exchange hummingbird art and more!
  • Predictions and Results: 2009 Ruby-throated Hummingbird Spring Migration Route >>
  • Predict: Here Comes My Hummingbird! >>
  • Observe and Think: Seeing Spring Changes from Space >>
  • How To: Create a Haven for Hummingbirds >>
  • Activity: Flowers That Fuel Migration >>
  • Slideshow: How Hummers Keep Their Engines Running >>
  • Experiment: Surviving Cold Nights: Torpor >>
  • Hummingbirds for Kids: Wondering About Hummingbird Wings >>
  • Hummingbird Migration Journals (click-and-print) >>
More Hummingbird Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The Next Hummingbird Migration Update Will Be Posted on April 9, 2009.