Journey North News: Spring 2009

Posted Thursdays: Feb. 5, 19, Mar. 5, 12, 19*, 26, Apr. 2*, 9, 16*, 23, 30*, May 7*, 14*, 21*, 28* (* Migration Data Only)

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May 28, 2009
As the season wraps up, the maps slow down. 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: Ed Robertson
May 21, 2009
Fifty two 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! Animation: Russ Thompson
May 14, 2009
Rubythroats landed in two new states and four Canadian provinces this week. Some even took a turn and started heading west! Will they bump into rufous hummers before long? Stay tuned. This week, watch a slideshow about a very special rufous. Also ponder why so many observers are terrifically happy when the first hummers return! Photo: Joan Garvey
May 7, 2009
They are "wired" to race north, and they're doing it in droves! A big band of rubythroats pushed to the northern states and beyond last 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. Photo: Dorothy Edgington
April 30, 2009
Hummingbirds headed north by the hundreds this past week. Was balmy weather at work? The big news: One special rubythroat returned to home base. Was he on time? You'll have a chance to look at the data and be the judge. Also this week, discover some secrets about how hummers cope with cold nights, and ponder what happens in a hummingbird nest.
Photo: Alandra Palisser 
April 23, 2009
The rubythroat migration made a great leap forward this week despite some "down" days. Travelers on the leading edge rode clear skies right into Canada and five new states. This week, discover why some rufous seem to be branching out. Also watch our slideshow to discover how female hummers create cradles that are stronger than steel, yet cushy as cotton! Photo: Ed Robertson
April 16, 2009
The earliest rubythroats landed in new northern states, and the masses are peaking in the south! Meanwhile, rufous hummers seem to be sneaking inland. This week, explore a cool hummer adaptation and discover how scientists think a hummingbird could find just the right feeder each year. Also, dig into some of the data from this spring's journeys. Photo: Russ Thompson
April 9, 2009
Two rufous hummers reach Alaska, and rubythroats are surging ahead. Despite harsh weather, they landed in seven new states. Why, and how can they survive? Let's explore! Also, many of these males 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 2, 2009
More than 80 new reports last week, despite stormy weather! This week, see where they're headed, explore what's driving them onward, and discover why they're the acrobats of the bird world. Also find out how you can provide an irresistible feast for new arrivals. Then come back next week for a longer report and more hummingbird secrets revealed! Photo: Martin Dollenkamp
March 26, 2009
Hungry rubythroats just cruised into 5 new states! Meanwhile, newcomers keep moving up through the South. Nearly 80 new reports last week. Will looming wild weather slow the migrations? This week, discover how close your nearest hummingbird is. Also, watch our slideshow to discover how birds with brains no bigger than M&Ms fuel their tough journeys!
Photo: Bud Hensley
March 19, 2009
After a fast and furious start to the migration, hummingbirds seem to have have been lying low this past week. What slowed them down? How does the pace compare to that in previous years? We'll explore those questions in this week's short report and look at what "spring" really means to a hummer!
Photo: Alandra Palisser  
March 12, 2009
Wow. The 77 new dots on our live maps paint a picture of hummingbirds on the move! Rubythroats have pushed into two new states. Rufous, meanwhile, are hovering in hordes near Canada. How did they get so far ahead? Explore that this week, discover why feathers sometimes shimmer, and see if your schoolyard is ready for these tiny migrants.
March 5, 2009
The migration season has begun! Hummingbird spotters in 5 Gulf Coast states reported the arrival of the first hungry rubythroats. Check out this week's maps and try to figure out how they got there. Then dig into today's slideshow. Also see what observers are saying about the rufous hummingbirds that are making a beeline up the West Coast. Photo: Maryjane
February 19, 2009
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: Robert Behrstock
February 5, 2009
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.
Photos: Ed Robertson, Dean Briggins
Join us in February!
Beginning February 5th, 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