Monday, July 5, 2010

Mid-summer Hummingbird Banding Update

During June 2009 only about 90 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were banded, partly due to personal scheduling difficulties and partly due to weather cancellations due to rain. Unusually cool conditions also may have reduced the capture rate at normally more productive sites. This June, about 220 hummingbirds have been banded, which is about as good a start as ever. In addition, 46 individuals banded in previous years have been recaptured. In addition to the 8 year old female and 5 year old male noted previously, another female has moved about a mile west from where she was banded last year.

A total of 5 active Ruby-throated Hummingbird nests have been reported to me so far this summer, four in southwestern Michigan and one in southeastern Michigan. Hopefully I'll have more to report on these in my next posting.

The big news this past month was the recaptured of a Rufous Hummingbird banded on its wintering grounds in Tallahassee, Florida in January 2010 and recently recaptured on its breeding grounds in Chenaga Bay, Alaska, a distance of at least 3500 miles. This is the longest distance ever confirmed for any migrant hummingbird. Go here to read another blog on the topic, and go here to read Sheri Williamson's brief commentary.