Thursday, December 22, 2016

Banding The Hummingbird

The lady who has been researching and documenting hummingbirds that winter over in our State came yesterday to catch and band the hummer.

After getting a photo that showed the tail spread coloration, I felt sure that one was a Rufous.  There are two here but we only caught one yesterday.

It was quite an ingenious contraption she used to catch the hummingbird.  She had built a cage with a hand operated door and placed the feeder inside.

As you can see here, since the temps were below freezing early in the morning, I covered the feeder with a sock, inserted a couple of hand warmers and covered with another sock.  This seems to work well to keep the water from freezing.

Needless to say, the little hummer was not happy at all at being captured!

The bird appeared to be overall healthy and in good condition.  These birds will travel to Alaska and northern Canada in early March for their breeding season.  It seems like they like to migrate to the SE portion of the US rather than going farther south towards Mexico and Central America.

The researcher was a wealth of knowledge and eagerly shared it with myself and my friend whom I had invited to participate in the event.

During the examination of the bird, it was noted there was some damage to the birds beak.  This is caused by bad design of the most common feeders....the typical round hole.  If the bird hovers in flight while feeding, the round hole gives no leeway for back and forth movement resulting in damage to the birds beak.  Fortunately late in the summer season, I had purchased one with the oval hole which is preferred.

The last thing the researcher confirmed.....use only sugar and water....1 pt sugar to 4 pt water for feeding....both summer and winter.  DO NOT USE RED FOOD COLORING!!

The bird was released none the worse for the experience. She did mark the top of the hummers head with a bright orange temporary paint.  I am trying to document the second hummer and this lets me quickly distinguish between the two.  It want last long and will not hurt the bird.   It was a little hesitant about coming back to the feeder for some time however late in the afternoon, hunger and the need for energy won out and after checking out the area closely, the bird came in and drank with

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