Monday, June 3, 2013

Hummingbird monitoring

I spent the weekend leading a group of students visiting the UA Science: Sky School up at Mount Lemmon.  On Sunday morning at sunrise some of the students assisted with the ongoing hummingbird monitoring that takes place at the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter every other weekend throughout the summer. The work is led by the The Hummingbird Monitoring Network, a research program with the ultimate goal of improving the chances for the long term survival of hummingbirds.

Birds are trapped, banded (if not already wearing a band), weighed, examined for general health, checked for pollen that may be in their breast feathers and all the data is logged into a database.  Prior to release, the birds are fed until they are satiated.  This last part was apparently enjoyable for the birds, as many of them took their time leaving post-feeding.  Those moments when volunteers were holding the birds in the palm of their hands, provided several fine opportunities to take pictures of the hummingbirds.  Click the images for full size, and if your browser automatically re-sizes images, click them again!

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