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