Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hummingbirds Journey North

This is a neat website that provides ongoing information concerning migration patterns about birds, monarch butterflies and more. Here is one of my favorite about my favorite birds, hummingbirds. Here is a sample of the email reports that I get. (You, teachers and students can sign up to input your data and more).
Hummingbird Migration Update: March 12 , 2009
Hummingbird Migration Updates Will be Posted on THURSDAYS:
Feb. 5, 19, Mar. 5, 12, 19*, 26, Apr. 2*, 9, 16*, 23, 30*, May 7*, 14*, 21*, 28*, June 4* (* Migration Data Only)

Today's Update on Journey North's Web Site:

Today's Report Includes:
* The Migration: Highlights, Animated Maps, and Questions
* Journal and Slideshow: Why Are Rufous Hummingbirds Far Ahead?
* Explore: Is Your Schoolyard Ready for Hummingbirds?
* Questions? "Ask the Expert" Opens March 13
* This Week's Hummingbird Resources

Highlights: Welcoming the Waves!
"Our little jewels are back," writes one observer. Warm southerly winds paved the way this week for a flood of ruby-throated hummingbirds: 66 new reports! Can you find the two new states they've moved into? How does this compare with your predictions -- or with last year's migration? (Look at today's Rubythroat Map Questions handout.)

Out West, a big batch of rufous hummingbirds are gathered in Oregon and Washington. A careful observer has one explanation: "The red-flowering currant (one of their earliest spring food sources) is just about to open its first flowers." They may be feeding on blooming wildflowers, but how did they manage to get so far ahead of the rubythroats? Today's slideshow will give you some clues.

"I saw my first male. He comes every year. Females follow," writes one hummingbird lover. So far, most observers have spotted only male birds of both species. What do you think is going on? Explore!

Ladies Second! Why Male Hummingbirds Lead the Migration

It looks like it will be a colder, rainy weekend in rubythroat country. Will they rush northward ahead of the front or just hunker down? Keep your eyes peeled and stay tuned for next week's update! In the meantime, what can you learn about this incredible migration from other Journey north observers?

This Week's Observations from Citizen Scientists

Migration Maps and Sightings

Map Question Handouts (ruby-throated) (rufous)

Photo Study: Hummingbird Feathers -- Flashy or Flat?

This Week's Observations from Journey North's Citizen Scientists

Journal and Slideshow: Why Are Rufous Hummingbirds Far Ahead?
Look at both of this week's migration maps, above. How can rufous hummingbirds be in Canada already, when rubythroats are still gathered in the southern United States? Are the Rufous hummers faster or more eager? Is this just an unusual year? How would you explain this?

Think: First, write your ideas on the Hummingbird Journal page. Then compare migrations by watching the slideshow.

Hummingbird Journal Page

Slideshow: Why Do Rufous Hummingbirds Seem Far Ahead?

Explore: Is Your Schoolyard Ready for Hummingbirds?
Hungry hummingbirds are headed your way! Even if you live in an area where they don't nest, some might stop by on their way north. Will they be able to find what they need to survive in your backyard or schoolyard? Let's explore!

Explore: When Will Our Hummingbird Habitat Be Ready?

Questions? Ask the Expert Opens March 13
Journey North's hummingbird expert (and bander) Lanny Chambers has again volunteered to answer your questions. Lanny has had a life-long passion for hummingbirds. He researches them and runs an award-winning Web site about their migrations. Here is your chance to ask Lanny questions you haven't been able to answer yourselves.

The deadline for questions is Friday, March 27 (1 p.m. EDT).

* Meet Lanny and submit your questions on the Web.

This Week's Hummingbird Resources
You'll find help for getting started, lessons, slideshows, handouts, and other teaching tools.

The Next Hummingbird Migration Update Will Be Posted on March 19, 2009.

No comments: