Tuesday, May 10, 2011
The Fascinating Migration Pattern of the Rufous Hummingbird
Posted by Robert Mortensen
Last week, I had my first-of-year (foy) hummingbird. My son Kyle, spotted it before me, perched in a tree near the hummingbird feeder. I got to look at it for a minute through binoculars when it flew to the feeder, took a sip and then speed off. It was a female. Having seen Rufous Hummingbirds in May in Idaho, I thought nothing of the sighting until entering it into eBird and it set off the trigger to confirm my sighting. As it turns out, Rufous Hummingbirds in Utah in Spring are not regulars. This struck me as odd, so I began to explore the eBird sightings maps and a whole new world of understanding appeared before my very eyes. Everything about this hummingbird migration is odd! It migrates so dramatically different than other birds. The series of animated maps below may help answer some questions, but it sure raises a heck of a lot of other questions too. You've just gotta check this out...
What other patterns can you see when you look at these maps? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.
If you are wondering how to make the animated maps, I use Picasion.com