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Migration Update: March 21, 2012
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Southerly winds helped push the rubythroat migration into 4 new states this week. Check out lots of interesting hummingbird sighting reports. Compare rufous and rubythroat migrations in today's slideshow. Here's a research question for you: How do hummers bathe?

Today's Report Includes:

Image of the Week
hummer in sprinkler
Photo: Diane Rado
Bathing On the Fly
News: Highlights
Males generally take the lead in the migration, as one observer wrote, "Saw our first female hummingbird at the feeder tonight (3/19/12). Reported first male 3/10/12." Black-chined hummers filtering into Texas now and reporters say this year is earlier than most years.

March 18, Shelton, Washington
Our first male rufous showed up today. What's REALLY odd, is the average date is about March 6th. What's ever ODDER is that we've had 2 female Anna's and one male Anna's at our house all winter! We've lived at this house for 32 years, and that's a FIRST!

March 16, Gautier, Mississippi
I saw my first mature male ruby throat at the cherry tree blooms and later at the feeder.

rufous
Photo: D. Fitzpatrick
Keep harmony at the feeder. Put up more than one.

Last week southern winds helped rubythroats flap north across new borders and into 4 more states! Can you name which ones? So far the little hummers have landed in 10 states! What's the next frontier they will cross? Pull out your Spring Prediction Chart and take a stab at where the hummers will be next week.

Slideshow: Why Do Rufous Hummingbirds Seem Far Ahead?
How can rufous hummingbirds be in British Columbia already, when rubythroats are still gathered in the southern United States? Are the rufous hummers faster or more eager? Is this just an unusual year? Let's explore these questions. rufous migration slideshow
Slideshow

Research Question: How do Hummers Bathe?
Track down facts about hummingbird bathing and grooming behaviors. Do your research using as many sources as you can, then share what you found.

  • How can you use this information to provide a welcome habitat for hummingbirds?
hummer bathing
Photo: Alandra
Latest Maps
A strong front is sweeping east bringing rain into the southern states this week. This should keep the ruby-throated hummers grounded. Watch the map. Will the rufous hummers be spotted north of Vancover Island this week? Keep your eyes on the west and your feeders filled for the hungry new arrivals.
ruby map ruby map ruby map
Ruby-throated
(map | animation | sightings)
Rufous
(map | animation | sightings)
Other
(map | animation | sightings)
Ask the Hummingbird Expert
Ask the Expert
Special thanks to Lanny Chambers for sharing his time and expertise again this year to answer your questions! Beginning on Friday, March 9, you will have two weeks to prepare and submit your questions to Lanny.

Ask the Expert Will be Open
Through March 23, 2012.

Lanny Chambers
Meet Expert Lanny Chambers
The next monarch migration update will be posted on March 28, 2012.
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