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Hummingbird Migration Update: April 1, 1999

Today's Report Includes:

Latest Migration News & Data
The hummingbird migration is humming along. Congratulations to the first rufous hummingbird that arrived in Alaska! Meanwhile in the east, ruby-throated hummers have suddenly jumped northward. As of March 27 early birds arrived in North Carolina, Virginia--and even Ohio and Illinois. Do these weather maps provide any clues as to why they moved north so quickly?

Visit the "Hummingbirds" WWW Site for the Latest Migration Maps



Here are 81 sightings for your migration map: 48 ruby-throated hummers were spotted in the East, and 33 rufous hummers were spotted in the West. Seated at his computer in St. Louis, MO, Lanny Chambers is collecting all these sightings. You must be wondering:

Challenge Question #8
"When will the first ruby-throated hummingbird reach St. Louis, MO---where Lanny Chambers himself is watching and waiting?"

(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)

Flower-fueled Migrations

How do the monarch and hummingbird migrations compare?

Imagine a hummingbird traveling from flower to flower, drinking nectar all along the migration trail. Monarch butterflies need nectar too, as they travel from their wintering area in Mexico. Look at this week's map of the monarch migration and compare it to your hummingbird map. What do you notice? (Click on map to enlarge and print.)

Challenge Question #9
"List all the ways the hummingbird and monarch migrations are similar. In how many ways are they different? Describe the timing and patterns you see, and explain possible causes. (In your answer, list all the differences between these two animals and discuss why these might cause their migrations to be different.)"

Challenge Question #10
"Which will arrive first where you live, the monarch or the hummingbird? Explain why you think so."
(To respond to these questions, please follow the instructions below.)

Field Work While You Wait
Monitoring Changes in Hummer Habitat

If you were a hummingbird, what could you find to eat today? As you wait for the hummingbird migration to reach your home town, watch how their habitat changes BEFORE they arrive:

Keep your eyes open for the first flowers to bloom in your area. Are any flowers available now? In your field notebook, record the dates each type of flower becomes available. (Remember to include flowering trees--even apple or cherry blossoms.)

See if you can predict when hummers will arrive in your area, based on the readiness of their habitat. Then keep a lookout to the south--and watch for them to arrive.
How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions
Please answer only ONE question in each message!
1. Address an e-mail message to:
2.Answer only one Challenge Question in each e-mail. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question # 8 (OR Challenge Question #9 or #10)
3. In the body of EACH message, answer ONE of the questions above.

Please report the first hummingbird you see. Your reports will to be incorporated into these "Hummingbird Migration" updates.

The Next Hummingbird Migration Update Will be Posted on April 15, 1999
(Migration Data Will be Posted Next Thursday, April 8.)

Copyright 1999 Journey North. All Rights Reserved. Please send all questions, comments, and suggestions to our feedback form

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