PA Rufous Hummingbird banding

Rufous Hummingbird Banding

Rufous Hummingbird Banding

The state of Pennsylvania has been hosting increasingly more hummingbirds from the West during fall and winter.  While our Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are making their way South for the winter, others like this adult male Rufous are coming East and looking for feeders and flowers.  Our local Audubon chapter holds a contest to encourage people to keep their feeders up during the fall and winter just in case a wayward hummer decides to take up residence.  By banding the birds, much information can be gained, recorded and then sent to the Bird Banding Laboratory for records and research on migration, longevity, population, and disease.  See link here.

This adult male Rufous Hummingbird is the first Rufous banded in PA this season!  Homeowner, Kate, had noticed several weeks before that  one of her hummingbirds was not like the others and contacted a friend who called Wayne Laubscher.  Wayne is one of just a few who are licensed to band the tiny birds in PA.  The whole process of taking the captured bird, banding it, measuring, and recording the data takes just a few minutes.  Care is taken to place the band properly so that it’s not noticeable to the bird, and to handle it gently.

Rufous Hummingbird Banding

Measuring the length of the wing

Rufous Hummingbird Banding

Measuring the length of the bill

Rufous Hummingbird Banding

Any rufous on the back identifies it as a Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird Banding

Examining the shape of the tail feathers

Rufous Hummingbird Banding

Weighing the bird

Rufous Hummingbird Banding

Blowing the feathers back to check for fat on the breast

Rufous Hummingbird Banding

Keeping careful records

Rufous Hummingbird Banding

The homeowner has the privilege of releasing the bird!

Rufous Hummingbird Banding

Homeowner and bander, Wayne Laubscher, celebrating with champagne at 7:30AM!

Lauren Shaffer

Lauren Shaffer wrote 140 posts

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