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About the Hummingbird Migration Study
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Report the FIRST Hummingbird you see this spring to Journey North

When ruby-throated hummingbirds return to nest in the U.S. and Canada this spring, they will have just completed a remarkable round trip journey to Mexico & Central America and back! You can plot the hummingbirds' return journey and learn what it takes for these - and other species of "neotropical" migrants - to successfully complete this amazing trip.

Wintering and Breeding Range of the
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
(Archilochus colubris)

Map by D. Bojar and U. McKinney
Macalester College

For a second year, we will also track a western hummer: the Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus). This species over-winters primarily in Mexico and many travel all the way to Alaska to breed, the most northerly of any hummingbird. Watch for this hummingbird if you live in northern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, western Montana, Alberta, British Columbia or southeast Alaska.

Before Migration
There are important learning activities that you can do even before hummingbirds begin to migrate:

Unpave the Way for Hummingbirds
In addition to tracking their migration this spring, we hope you'll help hummingbirds along the way by creating habitat for them. Many helpful people and resources can be accessed through this WWW site. When your habitat project is complete, report back to Journey North. We'll add your site our "Unpave the Way for Wildlife" map, showing where you've helped make life better for the wildlife that shares your home.

When Migration Begins

Report the FIRST Hummingbird you see this spring to Journey North

We plot the journey beginning with a report from the neotropical migrants' wintering grounds in Central America. As songbirds cross the Gulf of Mexico on their annual nonstop flight, a scientist will give students real-time weather lessons and explore the effect of weather on migration. As the journey continues, students across North America will report backyard sightings when the hummingbirds and orioles return. Student activities will run the spectrum, from geography and math to the physical and life sciences. They will explore the physiology of flight, analyze banding data, learn about population dynamics, and participate in an on-line opinion poll surrounding conservation issues.

Neotropical Migratory Songbird Project
The Journey North project tracks the migration of 4 species of Neotropical migratory songbirds: Ruby-throated and rufous hummingbirds, and Baltimore and Bullock's orioles. Neotropical migrants are birds that breed in North America and winter south of the U.S. border. An amazing 333 bird species migrate according to this pattern. As the habitat along their long trail is broken into fragments, people are noticing a significant decline in the number of songbirds that return each spring. Students will meet members of an international network of scientists and conservation professionals who have united to preserve songbird habitat and they'll discover imaginative conservation strategies at work.

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