Journey North News: Spring 2008

Posted Thursdays: Feb. 7, 21, Mar. 6*, 13, 20*, 27, Apr. 3*, 10, 17*, 24, May 1*, 8*, 15*, 22*, 29*, June 5* (* Migration Data Only)

June 5 , 2008
The migration is nearing its end! Observers are still excited about the beauties and antics they spot. But some have wondered where their hummers went this past month. Are they truly missing or is something else at work? Explore this and review the entire migration on our animated maps in this FINAL hummingbird update.
Photo: Bud Hensley
May 29, 2008
As the season wraps up, the maps slow down. (There is a report from a new province this week. Can you find it?) Most observers have seen their "firsts." Now they can explore how hummers behave and interact with one another, their food sources, and different weather conditions. We hope you'll do the same! Enjoy this week's short update, then come back next week for the FINAL hummingbird report.
Photo: Aimee Johnson
May 22, 2008
54 states and provinces now host our hummingbird species! Reports of "first" sightings are way down, but hummers are busy following their instincts. When you're on summer vacation, they'll be fledging, furiously feeding, and otherwise preparing for another long and risky journey. Find out how they do it and watch some antics in today's update!
Photo: Michele Polimine
May 15, 2008
Rubythroats made a big sweep north into Minnesota and landed in four new Canadian provinces this week. Some even took a turn and started heading west! Will they bump into rufous hummers before long? Stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy a new animation this week and ponder why so many observers are terrifically happy when the first hummers return! Photo: Russ Thompson
May 8, 2008
Changing weather, spring blooms, and hatching insects were behind a record number of rubythroat reports (250) this past week. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for action in your neighborhood. Meanwhile, enjoy a birds-eye view of mama hummers and fuzzy nestlings in this week's photos and slideshow. And find out just what the hovering hummers in this photo were up to! Photo: Sam Alfano
May 1, 2008
100 new reports this past week despite some frigid temperatures. How did tiny hummers stay warm enough to survive? We explore a cool adaptation. Also, when observers talk about "our" hummingbird returning, are they just dreaming — or can migrating hummers really find their way home? Stay tuned. Then join us next week to watch nestlings come to life! Photo: Dorothy Edgington
April 24 , 2008
The rubythroat migration made a great leap forward this week. Travelers on the leading edge rode clear skies right into Canada and four new states. And one very special hummer returned. You'll find out which one this week. Also, watch our slideshow to discover how female hummers create cradles that are stronger than steel, yet cushy as cotton! Photo: Richard Mittleman
April 17 , 2008
Last week's cold and storms slowed the leaders of the pack, but we still have 80 new reports of first rubythroat arrivals. Meanwhile, rufous hummers seem to be sneaking inland. In both species, females that have already mated are onto other things. But how does one build a perfect nest? This week, you be the judge! Photo: Ed Robertson
April 10 , 2008
Another rufous reaches Alaska, and rubythroats seem to be surging ahead. Or are they falling out of the sky? Weather brought on both events this past week. Also, many males in the hummer world are on a manic mission: Set up territories, defend them from would-be thieves, and impress a mate. Watch their antics in this week's slideshow! Photo: Russ Thompson
April 3 , 2008
Rubythroats are now in 20 new states! Is yours one of them? This week, see where they're headed, explore what's driving them onward, and discover why they're the acrobats of the bird word. Also find out how you can provide an irresistible feast for new arrivals. Then come back next week for a longer report and more hummer secrets revealed! Photo: Martin Dollenkamp
March 27, 2008
Rubythroats just cruised into 5 new states! Is yours one of them? Rufous hummers seem to be stalled . . . or are they? This week, see the migrations come to life on our animated maps. Also, watch our slideshow to discover how birds with brains no bigger than M&Ms fuel their long migrations and acrobatics!
Photo: Bob Moule
March 20, 2008
"It sounded like 'zzzzipppp.' It had a little orangish-reddish and it looked like it lit up," reports a sharp young observer. More than 100 new dots on our live maps paint a picture of hummingbirds on the move! Are they on time? We'll explore that question in this week's short report and look at what "spring" really means to a hummer!
Photo: Alandra Palisser  
March 13, 2008
Wow. Oodles of ruby-throated hummingbirds are here, and boy are they hungry! It's already been a long journey . . . but it's only just begun for us. How did the hardy hummers make it to the Gulf coast? Explore their risky — and amazing — journey in this week's slideshow. You'll also discover why those rufous hummers are so far ahead of the rubythroats on their journey north!
Photo: Henry Domke 
March 6, 2008
The migration season is underway! Hummingbird spotters in 5 Gulf Coast states reported the first rubythroat arrivals. Check out the map and try to figure out how they got there! Meanwhile, rufous hummers are making a beeline up the West Coast. Are you ready for these tiny migrants to head your way? Explore that and more in this week's short update.
Photo: Alandra Palisser 
February 21, 2008
What are all those dots on our hummingbird maps? Have the migrations really started, or is something else at work? Maybe some of these nectar-sipping, insect-eating creatures found what they need to get through the winter north of the border. This week, slideshows, stories, and maps will help you discover how some hummers get by!   
Photo: Sharon Forney
February 7, 2008
If you put ten hummingbirds in an envelope, you could mail it with just one stamp! Yet these tiny flyers are preparing to leave the comfort of cozy winter grounds to make a long and remarkable journey north. Who are the creatures we'll be tracking? Why do they risk the trip? And when will they get to your hometown? Join us this week to explore these questions.
Join us in February!
Beginning February 7th, weekly SPRING MIGRATION UPDATES will be posted here every Thursday, from February to June.
Get ready to track the migration! Hummingbirds will move north to nest and travel across the continent. Find out how to report your sightings and track the migration on real-time maps. >>
Photo: Damon Calderwood