Juvenile Male Hummers

10 08 2010

Juvenile Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Looking through NEHummers website (link here) which has loads of useful information about Ruby-throated Hummingbirds it seems that along with the early blooming plants this year a dry June and July might have also equated to an equally advanced season for hummingbirds in Southern New England.

This citizen science website has loads of great bits of information and pictures of hummingbirds to peruse. There are even a few individual birds birders in Connecticut might recognise including the Calliope from Lighthouse Point and the female Rufous from Somers (links to photo’s of out of range birds from 2006 here) as well as tips on identifying  the age and sex of birds (here). On the topic of great hummingbird websites, check out Sheri L Williamson’s blog on hummingbirds (amongst other things). She’s the author of the Peterson Guide to North American Hummingbirds and has loads of great information on the site (here)!

Recently I’ve been trying to work out just how many hummingbirds are visiting my feeders and I think I have at least tracked down a handful of individual young males (the pale tan feather edging to the birds feathers – especially noticeable on their heads – is the quickest way to age young birds whether they are male or female). The females seem a bit harder to individualize but the differences in the males gorget development seem to help work out how many are coming. Thus far my favorite is the one with just the one gorget feather that is peeking out! Here are some of the latest pictures:

Death Defying Hummingbirds

10 06 2009

Collared Inca (Ecuador) - Luke Tiller

Collared Inca (Ecuador) - Luke Tiller

A cool article about the aerial acrobatics of humminbirds. Seeing as the paper has illustrated the article with  completely inappropriate photo (of a Broad-billed Hummingbird). I thought I’d do the same. OK I just don’t have any picture of Anna’s Humminbird truth be told. Anyway pretty amazing stuff and goes nicely with the other recent hummingbird post (see below).  Article here. I have decided to make no comment about males doing ridiculous things to impress the female of the species!

Hummingbird Tags and more

7 06 2009

A really cool article here about attaching electronic tags to hummingbirds for the first time in order to try and figure out some of the issues behind what is being considered a global pollination crisis. It seems that forest fragmentation is causing much of the problems from initial research. As birders we are already aware of how fragmentation of habitat affects the breeding success of our woodland birds. It also seems to be an issue for the plant life in the tropics that rely on these little gems for pollination. More from the article here.

If you just want to find out more about Hummingbirds or get involved in some hummingbird projects check out these cool sites. NE Hummers has loads of ways to get involved in recording data about your own New England Hummingbird experiences. They are currently looking for birders to carry out yard counts on July 25-31 (more here) and you can report or just reminisce about out of season rarities (such as last years first Connecticut record of Broad-billed Hummingbird) as well. The Hummingbird Society has loads of info on attracting hummingbirds, video links, galleries and other great stuff including details about endangered hummingbirds around the world check out their website here. You might also want to check out Operation Rubythroat a project aimed at getting students involved in an international project to study the only hummingbird that regularly calls the local vicinity home (more here).