Monday, July 19, 2010

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

On Saturday,July17,Jake and I attended a Hummingbird banding demonstration.
This was held at A Rocha in the Pembina Valley.
This place is about a half hour drive south-west of Morden.
The bander was from South Carolina,Doreen Cubie
leads a rich life and bird banding is only one of her interests.
I have put my pictures into collages,because I have quite a few.
This first collage shows in NO. 1 The cage set-up,in order to catch the hummingbirds.
Doreens' husband sat at the far end of the deck,ready to lower the cage door when a bird came in.This was done with a fishing line attached to the door.
N0.2 Shows Doreen gently retrieving the bird.
No.3 You can see a hummer in the mesh bag,waiting to be banded.
No.4 Gives you a close-up view of the pliers used to attach the tiny band.

The second collage shows the actual banding.
Picture No.1 She is gently attaching the band.I was impressed at how almost tenderly she handled these birds.
Notice that a ladies nylon anklet was used to hold the bird and protect it.
No.2 A gentle stretch of this tiny leg,now shows the band and numbers on it.
No.3Another important step is to measure the bird,wing length,bill length and also weight.
The birds which were caught weighed in at a whopping 2.5-3 grams.
No.4 As a thank-you for putting up with this human intervention,each bird was given the opportunity to get a sweet sip of nectar.

The final collage shows a few different views.
No.1 Doreen is showing us the tail of a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
Note the white on the outer tail feathers.
No.2 Here the bird is put upside down,and through a drinking straw the bander gently blows on the feathers.
This gives her a chance to see if this bird has any fat reserves or maybe even an egg.
No.3 This one is a male bird.Note the all black tail.
No.4 Here is the male Ruby-throated Hummingbird,in all its' beauty.
No.5 Doreen took this bird into better light so we could see the beauty of its feathers.
I have to say it again,she was as tender as could be with these birds.
When all the details had been recorded,one of the children there had the chance to stretch out their hand and hold the bird until it flew away.
No.6 Here is a look at the people intently watching all the details of bird banding.
Doreen was a wealth of information,not only about Hummingbirds,but other birds as well.
This was an exciting day for me,as I had never observed bird banding before.
Looking at these flying jewels I can fully understand the quote of the day:
Nature is the art of God.


Karin said...

Wow!!! You've certainly described it well and I learned something new! Thanks so much!

Shelley said...

I've always wanted to see something like this and hopefully volunteer to band birds one day. Your photos and descriptions were wonderful! I can only imagine how difficult and delicate it must be to band a tiny hummingbird.

From the Old InkWell said...

How interesting this must have been. We are beginning to have a few hummingbird visitors at our house. Love to watch them. Thanks so much for celebrating the good news of our soldier's return to us.

Dawning Inspiration said...

One of my favorite birds - such interesting info!

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Glad you got to see some banding, Ruth... I have never seen it either... That lady seemed to know what she was doing --and those tiny hummers are just gorgeous.

Do you all have Ruby-throated Hummingbirds up there? Those are the ones we have here predominantly...

Thanks for sharing... Great pictures.

Diane said...

Wow, these are just way too tiny for me to think about touching. I would be terrified that I would hur the little thing or scare it to death. Great pictures though, Ruth, and very informative. Diane

Elaine said...

That had to be really exciting. Hummingbirds are so tiny it really takes a tender touch to handle them.

Michele said...

Gosh, this was really interesting to read and you really have to have the tender touch to handle these delicate creatures. Fantastic post!

jeanlivingsimple said...

You documented the banding very well.This post belongs in a birding magazine.
I also have always wanted to see a banding in person.
Love and agree with the closing statement!!!

Sandra said...

amen and amen to nature being the art of God. no one can do better. that is one heavy little bird. ha ha. so precious

Anita Johnson said...

I just love humming birds, but I have never seen a banded one yet...they are like sparkling jewels...
"A flash of harmless lightning,
A mist of rainbow dyes,
The burnished sunbeams brightening
From flower to flower he flies."
~John Banister Tabb

Mary said...

wow..this is so interesting! I'd be afraid of hurting such delicate little birds.

Montanagirl said...

How wonderful for you to observe all that! I've never seen a bird-banding. Those little guys are so tiny and fragile. Thank you for sharing with us!

chasity said...

nature is the art of God~ i love that!
those pictures were amazing. i can't imagine holding one of those birds...they are just so tiny.
and beautiful.

Ruth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
George said...

This is very interesting. Thanks for your description and wonderful pictures.

Kerri Farley said...

What a wonderful experience this must have been!!!

Thank you for documenting it and sharing it with us!!

Rick said...

Great post Ruth. Lots of information and photos to accompany. I'd never seen this type of work before, especially how they're caught. Thanks for sharing.

4 color business card printing said...

It seems like a simple procedure but I think you also have to be careful. Banding I think is fun. Very fun! I love the eagerness of the watchers to learn.

Sandpiper (Lin) said...

Hi Ruth, What a wonderful post this is. It's so interesting to watch banding. We rescued an injured bird this year, and when it was released a month later, it was banded. I've only seen it once since the release.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. It's so good to hear from you!! Things are going well on my end, but always busy. Hope life is treating you well!! xx

LV said...

What an interesting and informative post. I wish I had hummingbirds here, but I never see them. I understand they are scattered around the area, but guess they do not like my flowers.

Unknown said...

How fascinating, Ruth! Thank you so much for taking me along with you. I always love joining you and Jake on your adventures. ;o)

Becky said...

What a beautiful and so interesting post Ruth. I didn't know Hummingbirds were banded. I'll look more closely noe.

Ruth said...

These birds are so tiny and move so fast. What a great opportunity to see them up close.

Connie said...

I had never given any of this any thought before. I never look for bands and these are so tiny it would be a surprise if you could see it! Such tiny legs!

Enjoyed every bit of this informative post.

Pat said...

Ruth, this post was fascinating to me. I'd heard that hummingbirds were being banded and traced to see where they travelled (amazingly long distances!), but I'd never seen the banding. Doreen must not drink coffee on banding days--to keep her hands steady! What a delicate procedure. The hummingbird was probably thinking, "Whoa! What just happened to me?! But the nectar at the end was wonderful!"

Fantastic post!

Monica H said...

Those pictures are so neat and imformative. And those hummingbirds are so incredibly tiny!