We have had a fantastic start to winter hummingbird banding this 21-22 season.  It started in August with reports of an adult male rufous hummingbird at the home of Mary Lodge.  We ventured over to band him on a hot humid day in August and he along with 39 ruby-throats all got shiny new bands.  A month laster on the 15th of September we heard from Mary Goodenough in Fayetteville who reported her Allen’s hummingbird was BACK!  What a special occurance as this guy certainly has a history with us.  Stay tuned for more about him in the coming months.   October 14th found us banding our first Kentucky western hummer at the home of Dave Roemer, long time birder and friend.   Fifteen days later on the day before Halloween my phone rang and it was host Bill Taylor of Nashville with the news that his female rufous was back for her second winter.  No tricks there but pure treat!  Three weeks later we ventured to Sewanee, TN and banded an adult female rufous at the home of April Sells.  Her hummer even made the local newspaper, The Mountain Messenger.  On November 23rd we made a second attempt to band what turned out to be a wily hatch-year male rufous hummingbird at the home of James Wood.  We’d spend a half day trying to capture this hummer back in October but he chose the blooming pineapple sage over the feeders and my trap.  It was good to finally get a band on him a month after our first attempts. Four days later we had a ‘rare’ two banding day.  We ventured back to Murfreesboro to the home of Kendra Cooper and banded what tuned out to be an adult Black-chinned hummingbird and while there we got another call about a hummingbird in Cannon County. So off we went and captured and banded a hatch-year rufous hummingbird at the home of Penny and David Malone.

We have 3 more ‘known’ western hummers waiting to be banded.  One in Memphis where the salvia is still blooming and the bird isn’t interested in the feeders.  One in Smith County and another in Monroe County.  We hope to get them all banded prior to Christmas.

So, for those keeping ‘score’, we have confirmed 2 second-year return hummingbirds, banded 5 new hummingbirds in two states, and have 3 pending hummers waiting for their bands.  We’ve traveled 1224 miles during the 7 days we actively banded and as always met and visited with our wonderful hummer hosts.

Keep watching, keep speading the word about ‘western winter hummingbirds’ and to anyone hosting a ‘winter’ hummingbird please reach out and let me know if you’re interested in having it banded.  If I’m not licensed in your State I can put you in touch with someone who is and able to come to your home.  Best way to ensure I get your message is to contact me ar routledges@bellsouth.net and put ‘winter hummer’ in the subject line.

Finally A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL WHO SUPPORT OUR EFFORTS!  We couldn’t do this without your support and of course the hospitality of our wonderful hosts.

Here’s hoping a winter hummingbird stops by your home!

Till next time….