Getting Ready for Hummingbird Migration
Making Maps

Student Handouts
Blank Map
The process of making a map will orient students to the geography of hummingbird migration. It will also give them a context for following news in the season's migration updates.


Laying the Groundwork

  • Post or make copies of a distibution map for rufous and ruby-throated hummingbirds.
  • Give each student or group a copy of each handout.
  • Show them where they can access an atlas (or online map).


  1. Give students time to explore where each species spends its life.
  2. Ask students to add important features to their own maps and color them to distinguish the species and their seasonal habitats.

Using the blank map provided, students will
identify and label:

  • The latitude and longitude lines.
  • The countries in which each species overwinters and breeds.
  • The states and provinces in which each species overwinters and breeds.
  • The places BOTH species overwinter.
  • The places BOTH species breed.
  3. Have students make a title and key for their maps.

Try This!
Students can quiz one another with fun geographic challenge questions about each species. Here are some sample questions:

  • Would it be possible to see a ruby-throated hummingbird in Costa Rica?
  • Which bird visits more countries during its annual cycle?
  • In which country do most rufous hummingbirds spend the winter?

  • Ask students to save these maps in their Hummingbird Journals. As they learn more about the hummingbird migration during the season, they can add interesting details and significant features to their maps.
  • As you review these maps throughout the season, you can assess students' understanding of migration patterns and their abilities to represent these on maps.

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