September 21, 2021 is officially the last day of summer and it is also our official last day of hummingbird migration banding for this season. It was indeed a season of ups and downs and ongoing challenges due to COVID. Festivals were cancelled and certain locations not visited for health and safety reasons. But regardless we managed to continue our research and band 1816 Ruby-throated hummingbirds plus one adult male Rufous Hummingbird in Paris, TN on September 15th. I personally also reached a banding milestone this season. I can now say I've banded over 12,000 hummingbirds since recieving my Master permit in October of 2014! We had some fun surprises this season. During breeding season we were alerted to a hummingbird nest built on a battery-operated light hanging on a porch. We were able to get pictures of eggs, momma incubating and of the babies. What a treat! We had three reports of lucistic hummers, one evaded us and the second one was caught after an hour wait. We were able to band this young male and then a week later he showed up across town at another home where we verified it was indeed 'our' bird. The adult male Rufous Hummingbird in Paris was another grand surprise and that banding set us up for future bandings at this 'high volume' lovely home. The 'best' surprise of the season by far was the return of the Allen's Hummingbird to the home of Mary Goodenough on August 15th. Pictures have verified it is indeed the same hummer we banded there on a frosty morning in December of 2020. Stay tuned for his amazing story to be published very soon. This season we also welcomed two new crew members and I began to train Dr. Michael Collins of Rhodes University to band hummingbirds. Michael and I share a deep appreciation for those who helped us and others along the way, so it is a natural fit and great opportunity to share Bob and Martha's hummingbird legacy with another enthusiastic bander. As always I want to thank all my hummingbird hosts. We could NOT conduct our [...]
As I sit and watch the hummingbird at my feeder I'm reminded of this poem by D.H. Lawrence... Humming-bird I can imagine, in some otherworld Primeval-dumb, far back In that most awful stillness, that gasped and hummed, Humming-birds raced down the avenues. Before anything had a soul, While life was a heave of matter, half inanimate, This little bit chirped off in brilliance And went whizzing through the slow, vast, succulent stems. I believe there were no flowers then, In the world where humming-birds flashed ahead of creation I believe he pierced the slow vegetable veins with his long beak. Probably he was big As mosses, and little lizards, they say, were once big. Probably he was a jabbing, terrifying monster. We look at him through the wrong end of the telescope of time, Luckily for us. ~D. H. Lawrence
The 2021 migration banding hummingbird season has begun! With more than 28 host locations days on the calendar and 7 different Hummingbird Festivals in Tennessee and Mississippi we're sure to encounter a good many and interesting birds and meet lots of folks who love hummingbirds! Check this blog post as the summer progresses as we'll post any interesting or noteable banded birds we encounter along the way. Public festivals are listed on our webpage. Those listings will be updated if anything changes or activities are added. We hope you'll consider supporting one or more of them. In the meantime enjoy your hummingbirds. Remember to keep those feeders clean and the nectar fresh...NO red dye and a 4:1 water to sugar ratio should keep all healthy and vibrant. Till next time...
Our new t-shirt design was a huge success last year and we've had a few requests for shirts since the campaign ended in 2020. So we decided to hold a 2 week only event this spring once again offering shirts, both unisex and woman's, to serve as conversation starters, a walking and talking billboard to spread the word that NO RED DYE should be used to make hummingbird nectar. Please join me in educating the public and supporting our ongoing research by purchasing a t-shirt. All proceeds will be used for continued hummingbird research and education. Southeastern Avian Research is a 501(c)3 non-profit research organization. We were established in 2014 to promote the conservation and preservation of hummingbirds and other neotropical migrants through study, research, education and banding. We invite you to check out our ongoing work at www.southeasternavianresearch.org. Thank you for your support through this fundraiser. Copy and paste the link below into your browser and make your selections. Two week after the campaign ends you'll recieve your t-shirt in the mail. You can start wearing it and spreading the word. THANK YOU! https://www.customink.com/fundraising/annual-no-red-nectar-campaign2-weeks-only-3013?fbclid=IwAR1BZI2CSTCljTSozOev8nTM5KIYwdJMECaLF_xiLk7LvqXpwQpBYuYRTdM
Spring has sprung and soon those eggs you've noticed in your birdhouses, bushes or trees will begin to hatch. And notoriously it's also the time baby birds are found on the ground and my phone starts ringing with frantic calls of 'what to do'... Here's a great reference tool put out by our friends at Massachusetts Audubon. And if you need to find a rehabber here's a link to the 53 dedicated individuals in Tennessee. https://www.tn.gov/twra/wildlife/rehab.html Just click on the gray tab and the list will appear by County.