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Hummingbird Migration Update: February 4, 1999

Today's Report Includes:

Sensible Hummers on Their Wintering Grounds
Most North American students can't see wild hummingbirds in February unless they live near the Gulf Coast. In places where ice and snow are the order of the day, and especially where some Journey North participants haven't seen the sun for months, it's fun to imagine what life is like in the tropics where most hummers are right this minute.

Imagine being a hummingbird in Mexico or Costa Rica right now. List some of the ways its environment there in February is different from your backyard in February.

Fascinating Hummers!
Hummingbirds are some of the most popular birds on the planet because of their tiny size and enormous power. For a long time, people simply didn't believe that tiny Ruby-throated Hummingbirds from the United States and Canada could possibly fly under their own power all the way down in Mexico and Central America. To explain it, they said the hummers must be riding on the backs of bigger birds. The truth is, hummers are so feisty that they often chase larger birds. One of our Journey North writers actually watched a hummingbird dive-bomb a Bald Eagle once, fiercely dropping down to the nape of its neck again and again. Perhaps, long ago, someone watched a hummer drop down or come up from dive-bombing a goose and mistakenly thought that the hummer was riding on the goose!

Spend some cold winter days learning more fun facts about these tropical delights!

Predict When Hummingbirds Will Migrate
When will the hummers head north again? You can simply guess, of course, but how might you make a logical prediction? Try our

And think about this week's

Challenge Question #1:
The tropics have so much biodiversity compared to the temperate zone. Why do you suppose hummingbirds bother to migrate back to the north every year?

How to Respond to Today's Challenge Question
1. Address an e-mail message to:
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question #1
3. In the body of your message, answer the question

The Next Hummingbird Migration Update Will be Posted on March 4, 1999

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