Hummingbird Update: February 22, 2012
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Get ready! Find your feeders and clean them up. Winter is over in some parts of North America. The hummers will soon be arriving. 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. Why don't they stay in the tropics? Find out in today's slideshow. Let's learn about bird banding and take a closer look.

This Week's Update Includes:

Image of the Week
rufous in ice storm
Courtesy of Debbie Stika
Tough Little Birds!
Slideshow: Why Come Back North in the Spring?

Many hummingbirds migrate north in the spring, including the ruby-throated and rufous. Why don't they stay in the tropics?

Explore some of the reasons why they leave their winter home and take a long, dangerous journey north.

Bird Banding: The Basics
Bird banding is one of the most important tools in ornithological research. The first records of bird banding in North America are those of John James Audubon in the early 1800's.

Learn more about bird banding, and then follow along to see how banders captured and banded a "vagrant" rufous hummingbird this winter in Alabama.

early December, Alexander City, AL
Bird Banding
Latest Maps: Winter Sightings

All hummingbirds do not go to Central America in the winter. Read the reports to learn more about some of the other hummer species sighted in February, including the rare Violet-crowned. Please help us document where hummingbirds are located this winter!

hanging the class feeder
Get ready!
ruby map ruby map ruby map
(map | animation | sightings)
(map | animation | sightings)
(map | animation | sightings)
Report Your Sightings!
Male and Female Rubythroat male and female rufous collage
Other Species
The next Hummingbird Migration Update will be posted on February 29, 2012.