Banding Hummingbirds, Really? Yes, They Really Do.

Last weekend I got the privilege to take a little trip down south to Casscoe, Arkansas and visit the Potlatch Conservation Education Center at Cook’s Lake with a couple of wonderful ladies.  We had such a wonderful time and seen something that I had no idea the Game and Fish actually do…. Band Hummingbirds.  It was such an amazing experience that I had to share.

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Banding of hummingbirds gives us information about their migration, how long they can survive, if they visit the same feeders each year and many other useful information.

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Immature Male Ruby Throated Hummingbird
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Mature Male Ruby Throated Hummingbird

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The birds are carefully captured from cages.  Feeders are placed in and around the cages to entice the birds inside.

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In the top picture you can see the recently captured hummingbird in the net.

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The birds are taken out and handle very carefully with panty hose. The bander handles the bird very carefully  not to hurt the bird.  They are very delicate, weighing just a little more than a penny,  and can be crushed very easily.DSC_9323

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Here she is examining the bird and getting the leg ready to be banded.  The band is very tiny and contains letters and numbers for identification.


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The band is being placed on the leg.

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You can see the tiny leg being banded in the top photo.

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What a tiny little band.

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Then the little bird is examined and the information is documented for sex, weight, size, age, and overall condition.

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After this process is complete the hummingbird is turned back into the wild.

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Usually the hummingbird sets in a hand for only and instant and away it goes.

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Banded Adult Male Ruby-Throated Humming Bird

As you can see in the photo above, this little bird has a band on its right leg.


While being in this beautiful region of Arkansas farm country,  I was able to take a few photos of the beautiful Cypress trees on Cook’s Lake.

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I even got a wonderful shot of a wild hen Turkey which probably had a nest nearby.

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Green Heron

I was also able to get a quick shot of  a Green Heron that was flying by which is the smallest of the Heron family.  The Green Heron is one of a few birds that uses bait to catch their food.   They use insects, worms and even pieces of bread to drop on the surface of the water.  They grab the fish that are attracted to the bait.

If you want to see more about banding of hummingbirds, on Youtube is the video, click the link , Arkansas Game and Fish Humming Bird Banding.

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