Migration Update: March 30, 2011
Please Report
Your Sightings!

This week we focus on the sheer joy of seeing the first sightings of the season. Learn how these little birds zip forwards and backwards, sideways,and up and down. Haven't seen one yet? Study today's map to find where your nearest hummer sighting is, and predict when they will reach your backyard. The first rufous has been spotted in Alaska, 800 miles north of the others.

Today's Report Includes:

Image of the Week
see wing movement in slow motion
A Flexible Flier
(roll mouse over)

Highlights, Maps, and Questions

"Our feeder went up March 5.
First rubythroat arrived March 23, aweek early this year due to warmer than usual weather," writes a hummer spotter in South Carolina. Ruby-throated hummingbirds have made quite a surge north this week and have been spotted in a few new states. Pull out your Spring Prediction Chart and take a stab at where the hummers will be next week.

Citizen scientist Pam Randles from Haines, Alaska has spotted her first rufous hummingbird of the season! Haines is located over 800 miles north of the previous most northern rufous sighting. Will other rufous hummers soon be spotted along the way? Stay tuned in weeks to come!

Read about the migration from other Journey North observers.

Stormy weather in the southeast gives hummingbird spotters a chance to keep birds at their feeders for a few days. This is a great opportunity to watch and enjoy these little fliers. What will you observe about their behavior?

Photographer John Doerper wondered about the behavior of this rufous in his backyard. Think what might be going on then find out...


rufous relaxing
Photo: John Doerper
An observer wondered what this hummer was up to.

Rufous hummingbird migration map


Ruby-throated hummingbird migration map
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

Ruby-throated hummingbird migration map
All Other Hummingbird Species

Predict: When Will Your Hummingbird Arrive?

How close are you to the nearest reported hummingbird sighting? Try finding your nearest hummer on our maps. Then measure how far it is from you! Here's what you'll need:

weekly record sheet
Explore: Hummer Adaptations

Amazing Flying Machines!
A hummingbird can't walk or hop, but it can zip backward, forward, sideways, and upside down. It can even hover in mid-air to sip nectar from flowers and feeders! Few other birds can do any of these things. What's his secret?

Try This! Hover Like a Hummer
Put your hands out to the side, palms down, and create a "figure 8." Here's how: Bring your hand forward and then up as you turn your palms up. Make sure your thumbs lead the way. As your hands go back, down and around, you'll come back to where you started. Imagine doing this 50 to 80 times a second as you take a long drink!

hummer flying machine
Amazing wing action!
Find out more...
Getting Started: This Week's Hummingbird Resources
More Hummingbird Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The Next Hummingbird Migration Update Will Be Posted on April 6, 2011.