Hummingbird Banding Day
Nov. 27th, 2002
At 7am on the day before Thanksgiving, Charlie Brower, the hummingbird bander, and David Heinicke, the Park Naturalist for Brazos Bend State Park, arrived to try and trap the 4 hummingbirds I had been observing for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately Charlie hadn't been able to get over while the
Buff-bellied Hummingbird
was here, but he was hoping that I might be hosting an Allen's amongst the Rufouses. The 3 hummers trapped were all Rufouses, and none had been banded previously. They were color-marked on their crowns, so that if they entered the trap a second time we would know that they had already been processed. I will be adding more information on the banding session as soon as possible..
This adult male Rufous was the first to be trapped at about 7:10am. The paint is non-toxic and disappears after a few days. In this picture you can't see the full glory of his gorget (throat) feathers - they look sort of rufous like his head, but when the light catches them at the right angle they will flash bright red.
This female Rufous was the second hummer to be trapped. After processing, she laid still for several seconds enabling me to get some photos, before she flew off.
The 3rd hummer to be trapped was an immature male Rufous. I had nick-named him "side-spot", due to the one red gorget feather on the right side of his throat. The second photo shows the developing gorget on the center of his throat.  Next year he will have an all red gorget like the male pictured above.
"There's no way I'm going into that trap again", Ms Rufous seems to be thinking! She's the returnee that we confirmed on 11/07/02. She had been banded by Charlie in March 2002. Click here for photos of that first banding session.

About 15 minutes after the bander had packed up his stuff and left at 9am, I spotted her on a favorite perch in the redbud tree. I managed to get this photo of her through my kitchen window, with the digiscope set-up.
© Helen Baines 2002             

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