Hummingbird Banders had a Busy Day in Southwest Michigan

Every year many people think Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are in serious decline and not nearly as many are at their feeders as the previous year.  That’s probably because they are remembering last September when all the adults and the young of the year were eating them out of house and home.  From that peak of population we have now reached the absolute lowest point of their annual population, although some people have already seen hatch year birds and we had one today when we banded at what has become our best site in Michigan, at least in the Lower Peninsula.

We visited the Three Rivers State Game Area also known as “Purgatory”.  We first visited this wonderful site in 2013 where the homeowners maintain over 45 hummingbird feeders and where we banded 128 birds last year.  Today we had three banders, two net runners and one overworked recorder.  In three hours we banded 57 males, 78 females and recaptured 22 from last year for a total of 157 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds handled, including the hatch year bird.  Maybe some day this bird will enter the record books like the one Allen Chartier captured last week.  See the link below for a report on that bird.

There was yet another very interesting bird Allen captured last week.  It was a Ruby-throated Hummingbird that Brenda Keith banded near Glendale in 2011.  Allen recaptured it at a site near Homer, a distance of 60 miles away.  These little birds are so amazing.

Submitted by Audubon Society of Kalamazoo member Richard Keith.