Journey North News: Spring 2011


Posted Wednesdays: Feb. 2, 23, Mar. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Apr. 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, 25, Jun 9
hummer June 9, 2011
Fewer hummers at your feeder these days? Are these travelers really gone, or is something else at work? What do you think? Find out what an expert thinks. Watch this season's hummingbird migration maps in action. What big ideas can you learn from them? A BIG thank you for helping track hummers this spring! Photo: Jack Moskovita
ruby nectaring May 25, 2011
As hummingbirds reach their northern limits, celebration is in the air. North America's smallest backyards birds have now arrived across Canada. This week, explore why hummingbirds stop traveling where they do. What factors limit their northward expansion? This summer, plan to plant sweet treats to feed the hummingbird family that calls your backyard home. Photo: Jack Moskovita
field guide May 18, 2011
Strong winds helped send rubythroats into Alberta this week. As spring unwinds the maps are filling up with your sighting reports. Watch a slideshow of nestlings that become fledglings. Study the details in the hummingbird field guide created by students in Atlanta, Georgia.

May 11, 2011
A late spring held back the rufous hummer migration through the Rocky Mountains this year. All that has changing now as the migration sweeps into Montana and Idaho. Another northward surge came for rubythroats this week with our first sighting in Manitoba. Sharpen your pencils to write a story to go along with today's photo slideshow. A photographer shares the day-to-day images of tiny eggs and miniature babies. Photo: Verle Stuve

nestlings May 4, 2011
A warm air mass on the East Coast was in place for nearly one week sending hummers northward ahead of schedule. How will this affect your migration predictions? Explore weather patterns and study migration animations. Find out what some people have called, "the tiniest hummingbird ever seen." Don't forget the Annual Evaluation!
Photo: Alek Komarinsky
nest April 27, 2011
It is nest building season for many hummers that have arrived on their breeding grounds. Meanwhile many little migrants still have the urge to fly further and reach the place they will call home for their babies. What do you want to know about the hummingbird nesting cycle? Plug in to this important part of the hummingbird's life cycle.

Photo: Alek Komarinsky
rufous April 20, 2011
This week we compare two migrating species. Gather the data and study the maps. Answer the question: Why is the ruby-throated hummingbird migration ahead of the monarch migration? Earth Day is coming and it's time to think about caring for the earth and its creatures. Learn how the gorget got its name.
Photo: John Doerper
territory behavior April 13, 2011
Hummingbird migration is in full swing this week. As the males arrive they appear to be on a manic mission: Set up territories, defend them from would-be thieves, and impress a mate. Look for examples in the sighting reports and watch their antics in this week's slideshow.
Find answers to your questions from our Hummingbird Expert.
Photo: Russ Thompson
hummingbird update
Photo: Russ Thompson
April 6, 2011
Spring weather has brought the rufous migration to a standstill, or has it? We explore how rain and snow in the Northwest affect rufous sighting reports. Rubythroat migration is steady. How are the mouth parts of hummingbirds unique, and how are they adapted to certain flowers. Compare two migrants, monarchs and hummers, and find out how they fuel up.
rufous March 30, 2011
This week we focus on the sheer joy of the first sighting and watching hummers in action. Learn how these little birds zip forwards and backwards, sideways, and up and down. Haven't seen one yet? Study today's map to find where your nearest hummer sighting is, and predict when they will reach your backyard. The first rufous has been spotted in Alaska, 800 miles north of the others.
Photo: Martin Dollenkamp
feeder March 23, 2011
Check the maps and you will see the rufous hummers are already into Canada while the rubies are still in the southern Gulf states. Explore why this happens. Try your hand at making some hummer feeders. Last chance to gather your questions and submit them to our Expert by March 25.
Photo: Natalie Osborne Smith
ruby March 16, 2011
Ruby-throated hummingbirds have already been sighted in 6 states. When and where will they move next? Keep predictions and records this spring. Explore how hummers keep their engines running. Use activities and resources to explore how these tiny birds find the food they need. Gather your questions and submit them to our Expert by March 25. Photo: Joan Garvey.

Photo: D. Edington

March 9, 2011
Find many new rubythroat sightings on the map this week despite variable weather along the Gulf Coast. Keep an eye on the weather to better predict where and when the migration will advance this spring. Most early hummingbird sightings are males. Find out why they are seen first. What do you wonder about hummingbirds?. A gallery of photographs will stimulate inquisitive minds. Gather your questions and submit them to our Expert starting Friday.

nectaring hummer March 2, 2011
Just like clockwork, last week the first migrating ruby-throated hummingbirds showed up on US soil. How can spotters distinguish a new migrant from a winter resident? How did they get here? When is the wind just right for a successful migration? Let's dig into these questions and more in this week's slideshow.
Photo credit: Russ Thompson  
feeders up February 23, 2011
The first ruby-throated hummingbirds could appear during the next week! They are known to begin their northward movements from the wintering grounds as early as January. By the end of February they can be at the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, getting ready to make the journey across the Gulf of Mexico. Explore some essential migration questions while you wait. Find out about the Earth’s landmasses while you play the Globe-toss game. Photo:Osborne
species poster
Hummingbird Migration Update: February 2, 2011
Welcome to Journey North's 18th season! We will be tracking the spring migration of the ruby-throated and rufous hummingbirds on their journey north this spring. Plus, this year we will be collecting your sightings of the 13 other species in North America. Meet and get to know our hummingbirds.