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.

Monday, September 6, 2010

How Do Young Birds Know Where to Migrate?

Some birds like blackbirds and geese travel in large flocks. Older birds can recognize visual landmarks on the landscape.
Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird Archilochus c...Image via Wikipedia 
However, the smallest intercontinental migrant, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, migrates alone. The young birds begin their journey south for the first time after all the adult males and females have departed.

Like other birds that fly solo, they have to depend on a genetically inherited mental map to find the favorable winter grounds hundreds or thousand of miles away from Michigan.