Teaching Suggestions
Mapping Hummingbird Species Commonly Found in North America

(Back to lesson: Mapping Hummer Species)

Looking at Maps and Data
Journey North citizen scientists have been tracking migrating ruby-throated and rufous hummingbirds in North America for many years. In this lesson students explore the diversity of hummingbirds that are found across the continent.

Hummingbirds are New World birds. There are more than 300 different species. Most hummingbirds are found in Mexico, and Central and South America.

Some hummingbird species migrate into North America each summer season looking for good feeding and breeding grounds. Only a very few live year-round in North America. Can you guess why?

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are seen by more people than any other hummingbird species in North America. This is one of many statements you want your students to make as they create their species maps. Encourage students to make observations as they explore.

Try it Yourself
Try out this activity before you open it up to your class. While making your map you'll probably discover you have lots of questions that will help you lead your classroom discussion.

Teaching Suggestions:

1. Start out by posing a question.
Example: How many different hummingbird species do we find in our state/province?

2. Distribute blank map and data sheet to each student.

3. Use guided questions to get students thinking.

  • Are there any patterns emerging?
  • Where are the greatest/least numbers of species?
  • How does geography affect the number of hummingbird species?

4. Share maps and discuss student questions and answers.

Challenge Questions
Why are there more hummingbird species in the west and south? How might geography (climate, land forms) be a factor in hummingbird distribution?

blank mapPrint: Blank map

species map
Explore: Map example

hummer species table
Print: Data Sheet

Print: Lesson