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Comparing Migrations
A Bird and a Butterfly

Like the monarch butterfly, the ruby-throated hummingbird migrates north in the spring using nectar to fuel its journey.

Both long-distant migrants move north when the habitat becomes ready to support their needs.

Both species overwinter south of the United States border. In March, the first birds and butterflies arrive in the Gulf coast states. They are returning to their breeding grounds in eastern North America.

Hummingbirds will lay their eggs in tiny nests.

Monarch butterflies will lay their eggs on milkweed.

Although their migrations have similarities, they also have differences. The species have different flight speeds and lifespans. Spring temperatures also affect the migrations differently. Birds and butterflies face many unique challenges.

Which species will you see first this spring—and why? Collect facts and explore the latest maps to support your prediction.