About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I heard Hummingbirds migrate on the backs of geese. Is that true?

Sorry, this is a nice story passed down from generation to generation, but only a story. Maybe people originally thought it was impossible for the tiny hummingbird to migrate south on its own and believed that hitching a ride under the wings of geese was the only way hummingbirds could make the long journey south.
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However as nice as this story is, it does a disservice to the mighty hummingbirds' abilities. Hummingbirds migrate thousands of miles south every fall to reach their winter homes in Mexico and Central America under their own power. Migratory geese don't even end up as far south as the tropics. Also, Hummingbirds leave earlier than Geese. They start migrating in mid-July and are mostly gone by mid-October. Geese don't start migrating until mid-September and are not gone until early November.
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Many hummingbirds migrate around the Gulf of Mexico, through Texas and northern Mexico to winter in Central America. Others will fly from Florida across the Gulf of Mexico to the Yucatan Peninsula. Regardless of which migration route they take it's inspirational.

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