FINAL Hummingbird Migration Update: June 4, 2009

Today's Report Includes:

Please Report
Your Sightings! >>

Who else is searching for food on these blooms? Look closely!  
Photo: Bud Hensley
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 >>

Highlights: Keep Watching and Wondering
The migration is winding up and most hummingbirds are on their breeding grounds. Observers continue to be thrilled and amazed when they come across these remarkable migrants. "When I was outside, I saw a hummingbird on an allium flower in the driveway," says fifth grader Maxwell from Connecticut. "Mom and I were only feet from it! When it flew into the forest, I said 'You never told me hummingbirds were attracted to alliums'. Mom said, 'I didn't know either.' That was the first hummingbird we've seen all year."

Where are the rubythroats? See what experts say >>
It's no surprise that we're seeing fewer reports of "first sightings" these days. But in the past week or two, several concerned observers have reported that the rubythroats that had been hanging around their feeders had disappeared. "Where oh where have they been?" asks one hummingbird lover. Are these travelers really gone, or is something else at work? What do you think? Once you've shared some ideas, read what some hummingbird experts have to say! >>

Speaking of experts, last week we asked your thoughts on the migration timing of hummers that breed far north. Here's what some researchers believe: The farther north a rubythroat breeds, the later it travels in the spring. Why? Most feathered travelers are adapted to arrive on their annual breeding grounds when food sources are available.

The hummers that breed up north also tend to be the first to go south as fall approaches. So stay alert in the next four or five months as these travelers head for their wintering grounds. Also look for signs that the hummingbirds in your neighborhood are preparing for another incredible journey. This slideshow will remind you what to watch for >>.
 Animations: Snapshots of the 2008 Season
Look at this season's hummingbird migrations in action! Then think about the questions below.
Rufous Hummingbird Migration: 2009
Ruby-throated Hummingbird Migration: 2009
  • In which week were the greatest numbers of hummers reported? In which week did the leading edge seem to make the biggest leap northward?

  • Choose one species. Describe how the migration moved forward week-by-week after the hummingbirds entered the United States. (You can draw arrows on a blank map to show this.)
A Special Thanks! To Our Hummer Helpers
We'd like to say a special thanks to Lanny Chambers for contributing loads of data on rubythroat sightings and for answering your hummingbird questions.

We are also grateful to all the photographers who generously allowed Journey North to post images of hummingbirds and their amazing antics!

And finally, thanks to all of YOU for keeping your eyes open, feeders full, and reports prompt. We couldn't track these species without your help! We look forward to seeing you again in February, 2010.
Year-end Evaluation: Please Share Your Thoughts! >>
Will you take a few minutes to complete our Year-end Evaluation? (We'll still send one more hummer report.)

With your help, we can we document Journey North's reach, impact, and value. We need comments like yours to keep the program going and growing. Thank you! >>

Year-end Evaluation >>

This Week's Hummingbird Resources
  • JN for Kids Photo Studies: Stunning hummingbird photos and video clips along with observation questions >>
  • Reading: Hummingbird Booklets and Slideshows >>
  • Reading: Researching Hummers — One at a Time >>
  • Map Reading: Making Sense of Journey North Maps (Core Questions) >>
  • Photo Study: Who else is searching for food on these blooms? >>
  • Tip: Learn how to keep the best feeder food for your visiting hummingbirds! >>
  • FINAL Hummingbird Arrivals: Rubythroat Chart and Rufous Chart
  • Assessment Tools: What Have We Learned About Hummingbirds? >>
  • Slides/Tips: How to Help Hummingbirds and Their Habitats >>
More Hummingbird Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

This is the FINAL Hummingbird Migration Update. Join us again in February, 2010!