Winter hummingbird season has begun with a bang!

Our first hummer of the ‘winter’ season was a find on Facebook.  The host had posted pictures of her bird and lucky for us we saw the post and asked to come out and band the hummer.  Even more lucky was that the bird was located in our hometown! We banded Petra’s hatch-year male Ruby-throat on the 8th of November.  Within days an arctic blast hit the south but the host had hung a brooder light and this hummer spent his day perched near the warmth of the light.

Our second hummer call came in about a week later.  This bird was in Thompson Station in Williamson County. Longtime hummingbird enthusiast Sharon was excited to have us come and ID her winter visitor and so on a frosty November 16th morning we captured, banded and released a very nice hatch-year male Rufous hummingbird.  He too was enjoying the warmth of a feeder wrapped in Christmas lights.

On November 17th we set off for Cordova, TN to band our 3rd reported bird of the season at the home of Lori and Paul.  She had contacted me after being advised to so by Tennessee Ornithological member, Martha Waldron.  And so on a 32 degree Sunday morning in Cordova we banded an adult female Ruby-throated hummingbird.  She too is being fed well as her fat score was a 1 out of 3.

Winter hummingbird #4 was captured and banded in long time Strawberry Plains hummingbird festival volunteer yard in Fayette County, TN.  Judy, a 20+ year volunteer of this long running Festival has left out a feeder all these year hoping for a ‘winter’ hummingbird and 2019 was her lucky year!  On November 20th we banded a hatch-year female Rufous hummingbird for her.  What thrill  it was for all of us.

Could you be next??  We hope so…

Happy Thanksgiving and keep watching those feeders!