Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Spring Migration

by Susan

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Spring Migration

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Spring Migration

Every year in March, the first ruby-throated hummingbirds arrive in Gulf Coast states from their wintering grounds in Central America.


Fattened on insects, the tiny birds fly 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico and arrive in the United States hungry for nectar from early spring flowers.

As spring progresses into summer, the birds follow maturing vegetation northward into the eastern United States and Canada.

During this journey north, students across the country track the birds’ progress. When a student sees a bird, he or she records the sighting. Teachers report their students’ sightings to the Journey North web page, where it is logged on a map. At the end of the week, Journey North staff members review the sightings and publish a weekly summary.

The dots on this image mark student sightings of the first adult ruby-throated hummingbirds of the spring 2007 migration.

White dots indicate confirmed sightings prior to March 15, while the purple dots show sightings reported (but not yet confirmed) between March 15 and March 19. The earlier sightings are along the southern coast, where the birds first come ashore after crossing the Gulf. The northernmost sightings are the most recent records.

The birds are clearly concentrated in the areas that have started to green up, where nectar-laden flowers would be available. New vegetation is only beginning to reach the northern section of the image, and as a consequence, the birds have yet to migrate to those areas.

compliments of nasa.gov

Comments for Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Spring Migration

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 15, 2010
humming bird migration
by: GIGI

Thanks Susan that is very interesting info on the Hummingbirds. :)

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Got A Great Bird Story?.



Coming Soon

Recent Articles

  1. Human

    Aug 15, 17 04:51 PM

    Long Island, New York, August, blue-bird sized, brown-grey body, white head, white beak.

    Read More

  2. Strange salmon colored bird out my window

    Aug 14, 17 03:25 PM

    In 27 summers here in Southern Worcester County Massachusetts, I have never seen a bird like this. There were two of them in a crabapple outside my kitchen

    Read More

  3. Rusty Chest, Blue Wing Tips, Brown Back, Sharp Beak

    Aug 11, 17 12:17 PM

    Same bird as posted few years ago under Birds at Feeder: Blue Tail and Wings, Sharp Head Yet to be identified. Certainly not a blue bird.

    Read More