Welcome to the Island Rambles Blog

Hi my name is Nora and Welcome to my blog world. This is a nature and birding photo blog about Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada. I am trying to be a birder and I take photos of the birds and scenery I find. I hope you enjoy your time here and please come back again. PHOTOS WILL ENLARGE IF CLICKED. The photos are slide show enabled if you click on them. If you click on the top lighthouse photo it always takes you to the most recent summary list of my postings.


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Monday, May 28, 2012

Banding Tiny Hummingbirds

Recently we went to the Annual International Migratory Bird Day at Beaver Lake Park put on by the Victoria Natural History Society, Rocky Point Bird Observatory and the CRD Regional Parks.  It was so much fun and I watched them band a hummingbird.  The hummers are trapped in a feeder trap and very gently banded as they are so teeny tiny.  (This week at ABC it is the letter "t" so I will be trying to add them to my theme.)
First they tuck a little blue tissue tunic around the hummingbird's torso and tie with a clip.  I believe this is a Rufous Hummingbird.   She seems pretty tranquil and tolerant.  (for non-blogging readers..I am using "t" words for a game we bloggers play...I have not lost my mind yet.)

Then they measure the leg to see the size and if it is swollen.  She waits patiently "Here I am all wrapped up for you".
The band is applied with a tool. They check the feathers to see the condition of the bird.  On larger birds they would blow on the feathers and could tell if it was a female; if the breast feathers were missing it was female and sitting on a nest and they would check the wing coverts to see the health of the larger birds.

If you lay a hummingbird on its back it just lays there motionless in a trance.  They were counting the shinny throat spots but I am not sure why. This hummer came back twice it liked it so much!
They also had tables and booths from local nature organizations that were full of interesting and educational items.

I think this was a swallows nest, I had to take a picture of the beautiful feathers.
This is a photo of the bones of a hummingbird.

More pictures of the tables and displays.
Here a youngster gets a close up view of a local dragonfly.

Then I was totally shocked and so happy to see this below.  This is a nest we took into a local Nature House last year from my son's house.  The baby hummingbirds were just about to fly when we had a terrible cold spell.They nest in February.  The babies did not make it. I was so upset.  We took it to the Nature House and it is now used as a teaching tool for the childrens' programs.
Here is the nest below when it was still viable. These are Anna's Hummingbirds.
Here is the momma on the nest last year.  She would have gone on and just made another nest.  Still it was very traumatic to me.

Then I thought of another hummingbird picture that was sent to me.
Picture credit on above picture to Muzza, my talented brother-in-law, as I did not take this one picture but all the rest are my shots.  I was not there that day when a friend had a hummer get trapped in the garage and he had to rescue it.  It was fine. Flew away.  I hope I get more of Muzza's photos to share with you.

Back now to the Bird Day.  The Pacific Northwest Raptors came and brought three birds.  They had a Turkey Vulture who seemed quite tame. He liked to play with daisies or he would nip your fingers. They were on tethers.
They brought a Peregrine Falcon. Very fast flying.
Also they had a lovely Harris Hawk.
They did flight demonstrations.  However this turned out to be most entertaining....both the hawk and the falcon promptly flew away to nearby trees.  The handler had to work quite hard with tempting and tantalizing dishes to get them back.  I am sure the birds really enjoyed that. These birds from the Raptor Center are very well looked after and it is an incredible place to visit in Duncan, B.C.

Well that is it, I tried to get lots of "T" words in even though my text was quite terse.

Special thanks to the Victoria Natural History Society, Rocky Point Bird Observatory and the CRD Parks for putting on such an amazing display.  I can't wait till next year to go again.

The memes for this week are:  ABC Wednesday the letter "t". Thank you to these memes for allowing bloggers to share their story.  I may not remember to enter them all but I still list them as this is the quick way for me to do it.  (For non-bloggers, Memes are games we bloggers play to get together.)
Show off Your Shot
Our World Tuesday
Sweet Shot Tuesday
Tuesday Tweets
World Bird Wednesday
ABC Wednesday
Wordless Wednesday with Words
Nature Notes Wednesday
Outdoors Wednesday

edit note:  I sometimes have to republish after I see how many errors I made or links not working. 


Gary said...

Interesting post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

eileeninmd said...

Wow, what an amazing experience. I think I would have been afraid for the hummingbirds. Even though I now banding is a pretty common event. Your photos are awesome, thanks for sharing.

Crafty Gardener said...

What an amazing process to band the hummingbirds.

Linda said...

Wonderful photos and explanation of your day with the hummers! I enjoyed it!

Indrani said...

This is interesting! How well you have documented the activity!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

fascinating shots. i have had the joy of watching a Hummingbird banding twice now and find it so interesting.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

We don't have any Hummingbirds in England so I'm always interested in hearing about them - and I'm always amazed at how tiny they are.
Lovely pictures.

Jim said...

Fascinating post.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Pieni Lintu said...

Oh...are they SO tiny!!! So cute!!!!!! <3

lotusleaf said...

Great post! I did not know the humming birds were so tiny!

Ecobirder said...

Really cool. I have seen a lot of bird banding but have never had the chance to see hummers banded. Great post. Thanks for participating in this weeks Tuesday Tweets

Stewart M said...

Hi there - splendid posts. I get the chance to band waders (which are much bigger than your hummers) but they still feel so delicate in the hand. I can’t imagine what one of these would be like.

Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

Life with Kaishon said...

How intriguing! I wish my son was here so I could show him. He would love this.

Linda Kittmer said...

Wow! What an interesting post. I have banded birds before while working with a licensed ornithologist, but never worked with hummingbirds. How fascinating.

Wanda said...

Oh how precious those little hummingbirds. Laying in your hand.

We have hummingbirds in our yard, and after they vacated a nest, I couldn't believe how tiny and soft, and well built it was. What a tiny miracle we can enjoy.

chubskulit said...

Such lovely critters.

Travels & Wandering
Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

mick said...

Wow! Your photos of the hummingbirds held in a hand really show how tiny these birds are. It sounds like a very interesting day.

Roger Owen Green said...

tiny, indeed!
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

NatureStop said...

What an experience!Great shots of the tiny hummingbirds.Thanks for sharing and have a great day.


Ann said...

My post also has something in the palm of the hand. It is a terrapin.

ChrisJ said...

Very interesting indeed, especially about the humming birds.

Libby said...

I am your newest Follower!

I am glad that I am following you because you really do have interesting posts. Banding hummingbirds! Wow! My kids and I would have LOVED to see that :D

Esther Joy said...

Very interesting post! We have ruby throated hummers here, but I've never discovered their nests.

Black Jack's Carol said...

I found your post very interesting but also sad. I confess that I seem to be lacking in the scientific spirit. If it were up to me, I would stop all banding and most interference with wildlife, except in cases like your friend's rescue of the hummer in the garage. I know observation from a respectful distance is totally impractical, but.. I was really happy, however, to see that you took the nest into the nature centre, and that it is being used for teaching.

Light and Voices said...

Jeepers I didn't even know that hummingbirds were banded. Interesting post.
Joyce M

Joops said...

Those are lovely!

T is for ...
Hope to see you.

Adam Jones said...

'Twas a terrific post with such tiny birds. A tantalisingly treat.

Rambling Woods said...

wow..that is amazing and so tiny..I am sorry about the hummer babies, I just posted about a little gosling being taken by a turtle right in front of my face today..I am very upset...Michelle

EG CameraGirl said...

Fascinating post! I would love to attend such an event.

Island Rambles Blog said...

Thanks so much for your kind visits and comments. I will slowly return to each of your sites.

Michelle, sorry you are so upset about the turtle....I know nature can be very harsh up close and in front of you. Take care.

Carol, sorry my post was sad for you. I used to feel like you do about banding and interference with wildlife but I wanted my post to educate and show how careful and respectfully it is done. We have already done so much damage to the environment and wildlife in the air, earth and in the ocean here. We need to study species now before they are gone.

The value of the information gleened from banding will possibly save species in the future.

At some point in the future we will have to make some difficult decisions to save this planet and those who try to survive here. I hope to always have life here where they can hear birds singing.

Nature Rambles said...

So interesting to see your pictures. Loved going through the entire series.

Jill Wellington said...

This is so interesting with wonderful photos! My eyes almost popped out at your GORGEOUS header photo. WOWEEEE! Love that!

Modesto Viegas said...

Great post!!!!!

Hilke Breder said...

Interesting info and great pics! Will be sure to come back.

Roy said...

Those Hummingbirds are so tiny Nora, when you see them like this it makes you realise.
Very interesting post . Thanks.

Fun60 said...

Loved the hummingbird photos especially the way it just lay motionless in the hand.

Pat Tillett said...

Very nice photos! I love hummingbirds. Several years ago they built a nest connected to a bead (on a wind chime) right outside our kitchen window. That nest is used every year now. It's usually, the same mom...

Springman said...

Spectacular post even with all the T's. You have a keen eye to spot a Hummingbird nest and it made a fine contribution to the collection.

Unknown said...

I found your blog looking for International Migratory Bird Day pictures. First of all, what great pictures!

Second, I am board member with Rocky Point Bird Observatory, who helped put on this event. If anyone here is interesting in learning more about banding (we band song birds, owls and, of course, hummingbirds) please check our website www.rpbo.org. We have lots of volunteer opportunities!

Thanks again!


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