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Banding a Rufous Hummingbird

December 31, 2010

Rufous, Allen’s, Broad-tailed, Calliope, and other hummingbird species that nest in western states and provinces traditionally move to Central America following the breeding season. But FeederWatchers in the southeastern states are increasingly hosting “western” hummingbirds throughout the winter. Rufous Hummingbirds are seen most often and Joanne Harrington of Tallahassee, Florida, recently noticed a nice male at her nectar feeder. Licensed bird banded Fred Dietrich was notified and he stopped by to band the bird. After taking a few quick measurements and attaching a permanent, numbered ring to the bird’s leg, Fred released the hummingbird back into Joanne’s yard.

Rufous Hummingbird banded in Tallahassee, Florida, by Fred Dietrich.

Joanne writes that the bird is “pretty tough” and is handling the lower-than-normal temperatures at the moment. “Even though temperatures were in the 20s the past couple of nights, the little guy is at the feeder at first light–so far he is surviving!” The banding process revealed just how small these hummingbirds really are. Here are the bird’s stats:

Band number: H82664
Wing length: 40.5 mm
Tail length: 24.5 mm
Weight: 3.9 grams

Rufous Hummingbird photo showing wing and band. Photo by Fred Dietrich.

Additional information on hummingbirds wintering in the southeast may be found on page 16 of the 2010 FeederWatch Annual Report, Winter Bird Highlights.

3 Comments
  1. Darrell Young permalink
    March 13, 2011 10:49 am

    We’ve had a Rufous hummingbird at our feeder since the second week of December 10′. I’ve set the scope up to see if this bird is banded, but can only get a view of his right leg. Is there a standard for which leg gets banded on this species and how can I find someone to band this bird if he isn’t already?

  2. darcey permalink
    April 19, 2012 7:15 pm

    looks like a sticker around his left leg

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