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 Post subject: Hummingbirds
PostPosted: 29 Aug 2010, 19:39 
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009, 08:37
Posts: 1555
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Yesterday my partner T and I went to Henderson, MN for their hummingbird banding days. The event has become an annual festival for Henderson, pop. 910, and it seems the whole town turns out for it as well as dozens of birders and others interested in hummingbirds. There was a biologist there, Don Mitchell, who is one of about 150 federally licensed hummingbird banders in the U.S. I couldn't find the exact numbers but I believe I heard this was about year 12 of the event. It takes place at the home of one of the residents of Henderson who, in addition to their many hummingbird feeders, also has a large garden that attracts them. The birds are trapped in a wire cage - lured there by a nectar feeder - and then Don very carefully does his work. The birds are banded, measured, weighed and general health condition is determined. It was fun to watch and kind of amazing to see Don handle these tiny creatures which weigh between 3-4 grams. Don is incredibly patient and answered the same questions over and over again as each group came through. We got to see 2 bandings in person and another two on closed circuit video. T actually got to release one so had a chance to have it in her hand for a few seconds. Here are a few representative shots...

Don takes a look at the general condition of the bird
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The bird is wrapped is a little piece of netting to be weighed
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Here Don inspects the beak of a bird to determine if it is an adult or a hatch year juvenile.
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In MN we have only one species of hummingbird, the Ruby Throated. We have never had a nesting pair in our yard but the birds do nest nearby. We only see them on our yard during the spring and fall migrations.


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 Post subject: Hummingbirds
PostPosted: 29 Aug 2010, 21:45 
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Joined: 29 Nov 2006, 21:00
Posts: 17260
Location: Shrewsbury, MA
now that is cool! Finally seen one last year in my back yard.



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 Post subject: Hummingbirds
PostPosted: 29 Aug 2010, 22:01 
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Joined: 27 Apr 2008, 15:45
Posts: 3075
Location: KY Lake
Very cool.

We used to have a bunch of them around here and I let all of my feeders get beyond repair. I finally bought another last year and after a month and a half, not a single bird.

I put it out again this year and left it up for nearly a month and it was never touched so I cleaned it and put it away again.

About a week and a half ago, I saw two females fighting over the flowers in a hanging basket on the front porch. I put the feeder back out and had only those two females for nearly a week but was outside this morning before church and I've got at least a half dozen hitting it.

I think where I screwed up was that when I had a bunch of them visiting, I had two Bradford pear trees near the feeders where they would perch. Those two trees blew down in a storm last spring and I hung the feeder back in the same place but there wasn't anywhere for them to perch and hang out in the shade. I hung it from a Japanese maple in front of the house this time and they are back to using it again. They seem to like to be able to feed for a minute or two and fly up into the tree that the feeder is in or one of the others in the front yard to rest.



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 Post subject: Hummingbirds
PostPosted: 30 Aug 2010, 09:45 
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Joined: 06 Dec 2009, 18:29
Posts: 339
Location: Jonesboro, Arkansas
ive never heard of hummingbird banding! im a wildlife major in arkansas and we go out and band songbirds occasionally and we normally go out and band wood ducks twice a year. unfortunately, the game and fish drained a lake to plant millet so the ducks would stay here instead of going to the coast (oil) so that was cancelled this year.


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 Post subject: Hummingbirds
PostPosted: 30 Aug 2010, 10:21 
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Joined: 13 Apr 2008, 11:37
Posts: 3611
Location: Nova Scotia
There was just a show on hummingbirds(2 weeks ago) and along with showing the different types and places they live,it had a piece on the banding.It showed what they did weighing/banding etc...pretty cool.
We have them up here every year,ruby throated.They nest here as well,hard to beleive how far they travel each year.Tough little buggers to,they'll hit the patio window at times,pick them up,they shake their heads,sit for a bit then take off.



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 Post subject: Hummingbirds
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2010, 09:40 
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Joined: 12 Apr 2010, 17:25
Posts: 6439
Location: Fenton, Missouri
I'm always amazed with our hummingbirds. Mostly Ruby throated. While on vacation this year, they were thicker than mosquitoes! I had fun trying to get close to them. They would actually perch on my finger. A couple got into the cabin and I had to catch them to get them back outside. Here are a couple pics. Kind of hard to see the series shots, but there's a hummingbird in my hands as I release it.


Hummingbird.jpg
Hummingbirds.jpg

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 Post subject: Hummingbirds
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2010, 09:44 
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Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 14:40
Posts: 1405
Location: Gwinnett Georgia
Very Cool Chris. You are defintely a nature lover.



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 Post subject: Hummingbirds
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2010, 09:57 
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Joined: 19 Feb 2010, 14:53
Posts: 1190
Location: Six Lakes, MI.
That is awsome Fender66.... here is a shot of my mother feeding her friends.

Mom with birds.JPG



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 Post subject: Hummingbirds
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2010, 14:22 
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Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 14:40
Posts: 1405
Location: Gwinnett Georgia
Very Cool Perchin.



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