Migration Update: February 17, 2010
Please Report
Your Sightings!

Visit a tropical farm in Costa Rica where 9 species of hummingbirds can be found, including our ruby throat. What do the wintering grounds have to offer these migrating birds? Some hummers have been sighted in the north. Why this is happening? Use your imagination: send a postcard home from the wintering grounds—before migration starts.

Today's Report Includes:

Image of the Week

Credit: Google Maps
Each year, our migrating hummers spend the winter south of the border. What's it like? Explore
Highlights, Maps, and Questions

Highlights: Wandering Winter Hummingbirds?
Is something afoot with our hummingbirds? Red triangles on the map mean there have been hummingbird sightings in the winter! What's going on here? Let's think. It's still too early to see migrating ruby throats. (But stay tuned in the next week or two!) And rufous hummers are barely starting to migrate up the West Coast. What do citizen scientists have to say about their sighting reports?

How can such tiny creatures survive far north of their normal wintering grounds? Why are so many hummers being reported out of their usual range? This week, we'll study the maps as we think about these questions.

Distribution Map


This Week's Map


This Week's Map

Today's Hummingbird Map Questions (click-and-print handout)

Explore: Hummingbirds on the Wintering Grounds

Visit a farm in Costa Rica where ruby throats arrive in late October and stay until early March. Find out about the variety of tropical flowers that provide nectar for ruby-throated hummers during the winter months.

This area, close to the equator, is a great place to spend the winter if you're a hummingbird. The climate offers warm temperatures and an abundant source of food from tropical flowers and insects. We might consider it a perfect place for a winter vacation!

Try This:
Imagine YOU are a hummingbird writing home from your winter vacationland. Gather facts and pictures to write and illustrate a postcard to a feathered friend back home.

Slideshow: Hummers on the Wintering Grounds

Try This: Send a postcard home!

Report Your Sightings: Seeing Winter Hummingbirds?

All hummingbirds do not go to Central America in the winter. Please help us document where hummingbirds are located this winter!

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds


Getting Started: This Week's Hummingbird Resources

Get to know hummingbirds by exploring these lessons and resources:

Watch for and report any winter hummingbird sightings!
Credit: Sharon Forney

More Hummingbird Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The Next Hummingbird Migration Update Will Be Posted on February 24, 2010.