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Hummingbird Update: April 3, 2013
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Spring blooms and hummingbirds arrive. How do flowering plants help migrating hummingbirds get the energy they need to keep their engines running?

This Update Includes:

Image of the Week
ruby female nectaring on flowers
Photo: Angele
Fueling Up!
News Flash: Rescued at Sea
Migrating across the Gulf of Mexico can be dangerous. On April 2, Scott Lagasse helped rescue a cold, wet hummingbird that had landed on an oil rig about 200 miles south of Lake Charles, Louisiana. rescued hummer
Photo: Scott Lagasse
News: Finding Nectar in Spring Blooms
Hardy rufous hummingbirds made it over Washington's Cascade mountains and up to Alaska this week. Their arrival is tied to the availability of nectar from spring-flowering plants along the migration pathway.

Rufous Find Nectar in British Columbia
Cheri from Vancouver, British Columbia reported, "First two rufous of the year arrived this afternoon. Both were feeding in red-flowering currant, probably 2 weeks earlier than usual. " 03/28/13

Jo-Anne from Whaletown, British Columbia reported, "First rufous buzzed by my window. The plum tree is in full bloom and the first rhododendrons are opening along with the salmonberry blooms." 04/01/13

Rufous in Washington
Dave and Sandy from Forks, Washington observed their spring blooms and knew to watch for rufous, "The salmonberry are finally blooming, so we've been expecting our little visitors!" Rubus spectabilis (Salmonberry) is a species of Rubus native to the west coast of North America from west central Alaska to California. 03/26/13

Rufous in New Mexico
"Rufous hummingbirds are not usually the first species I see. A bright male stayed about five minutes enjoying some salvia and visiting the hummingbird feeder," wrote Angele from Elephant Butte. Salvia is the largest genus of plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is one of several genera commonly referred to as sage. 03/30/13

Rubythroats in the South
First sightings of rubythroated hummingbirds visiting feeders and flowering plants continue to come from southern states. Freda from Haslet, Texas reported, "This evening we saw our first hummingbirds. Two hummers took turns sitting in the crepe myrtle and going to the feeders." 04/02/13

Rufous hummingbird
Photo: Carl Sexsmith
Arriving in
British Columbia
 
flowering current
Photo: Wikipedia
Nectaring Flowers
 
rufous
Photo: Angele Majewicz
Rufous in New Mexico

Slideshow: Fueling the Migration
Darting from flower to flower, hovering near feeders, and migrating long distances, hummingbirds use a lot of energy. How do migrating hummingbirds get the energy they need to keep their engines running?


slide show
Maps: Comparing Migrations
How does spring migration 2013 compare with 2012? In this week's journal, explore what maps reveal about weather and migration.
ruby map rufous map other hummers map
Ruby-throated
(map | animation | sightings)
Rufous
(map | animation | sightings)
Other
(map | animation | sightings)
Male and Female Rubythroat male and female rufous collage
Next Update April 10, 2013.
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