Science

Signs of Spring: Hummingbirds

Finally, signs of spring are beginning to show here in New England. Birds are singing, and hopefully some of our tiny, shiny little migrants will be returning soon.

There is a Citizen Science project you can participate in that will help document the migration of hummingbirds in the spring:

Starting March 15, 2013, the Audubon Society needs citizen scientists to track, report on, and follow the spring hummingbird migration in real time. A free mobile app makes it easy to report sightings, share photos and learn more about these remarkable birds.

Your participation will help scientists understand how hummingbirds are impacted by climate change, flowering patterns, and feeding by people.

Most people think of hummingbirds as nectar feeders, but they do also snack on insects.  Here’s an adorable example:

Many hummer species also steal spiderwebs to make their nests.  You can see an Anna’s Hummingbird make her nest with spiderwebs here. Much cuteness and stomping to compact the nesting materials.

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Bug_girl has a PhD in Entomology, and is a pointy-headed former academic living in Ohio. She is obsessed with insects, but otherwise perfectly normal. Really! If you want a daily stream of cool info about bugs, follow her Facebook page or find her on Twitter.

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2 Comments

  1. Right up my alley! As I type this, I’m looking out my window at a juvenile Anna’s hummingbird which was born a couple of months ago. Mom has moved on, but Mr. Cranky-Pip (as he’s known around these parts) is lingering. Probably not too much longer though.

    In my neck of the woods, (PNW) we get over-wintering Anna’s which show up in October or November, and then Rufous hummingbirds which arrive about any time now, certainly by the end of March. They are all hell-raisers, utterly fearless. I love ’em.

  2. Love that video and nice to see other Phoebe Phans! I’m a hummingbird bander in southern AZ and start my banding season in just a couple of weeks. Can’t wait to see how many previous year recaps show up. Thanks so much for promoting the Citizen Science Project. It really helps us learn more about these amazing creatures.

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