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Hummingbird Update: February 20, 2013
Please Report
Your Sightings!
Report Your Sightings
Spring migration is near. Can you identify rufous and ruby-throated hummingbirds? This week build your observation skills and learn how migration data contributes to research.

This Update Includes:

Image of the Week
winter hummer
Photo: Donna Stickrod
Which Species?
News: Excitement and Anticipation
While we wait for the start of the official spring migration, a few rubythroat sightings have been reported. When asked whether these earliest reports signal the start of the migration, Lanny Chambers feels that "a handful of very early arrivals means very little, aside from the excitement felt by reporters."

Harbinger of Hummers
"I think it may be the beginning of the rubythroat migration because sapsucker numbers have exploded over the past 2 weeks in this area," exclaims a spotter in Houston, Texas last week.

02/18/13 Houston, Texas
We have five rufous frequenting and quarreling in our yard. Nice spring-like weather is occurring in our area.

02/17/13 Vancover, British Columbia
It was a female rufous. She was exhausted, bedraggled, shivering. She just kept feeding, regardless of the Anna's also feeding This is the earlies sighting of returning Rufous I've seen yet.

02/17/13 Atco, New Jersey
He's here for Great Backyard Bird Count! Our little fierce defender even chases the chickadee's away from his feeders!

early December, Alexander City, AL
Sapsucker
 
humm in NJ
Photo: Deborah Repasz
Rufous in Texas
Research: Thank You Citizen Scientists!
For over a decade, volunteers have contributed spring migration sightings of ruby-throated hummingbirds to Journey North. These data were recently analyzed by Jason Courter and his colleagues, and the findings were published in a scientific journal.

"A project of this magnitude would have been impossible without the contributions of thousands of Citizen Scientists throughout North America -- we particularly thank observers from Journey North for their faithful reporting of hummingbird arrivals for more than a decade."

Hummers arriving earlier
Summary
Slideshow: Meet Rufous and Ruby
Observers expand the eyes and ears of scientists when they report their hummingbird sightings. How can you accurately identify rufous and ruby-throated hummingbirds? This slideshow, journal page, and activity will build observation and identification skills.
Meet Rufous and Ruby
Slideshow
journal page
Compare | Contrast
journal page
Journal
Latest Maps: Who's Seeing Hummingbirds?
All hummingbirds do not go to Central America in the winter. Please help us document where hummingbirds are located this winter!
ruby map ruby map ruby map
Ruby-throated
(map | animation | sightings)
Rufous
(map | animation | sightings)
Other
(map | animation | sightings)
Male and Female Rubythroat male and female rufous collage
The next Update will be posted on February 27, 2013.
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