Saturday, August 8, 2015

Hummingbirds

A couple of weeks ago, we went to the Hummingbird Festival at Lewis and Clark Memorial. It was on my mom's 70th birthday.

The Lincoln Land Association of Bird Banders catches and bands (or records previously-banded) hummingbirds. Visitors can adopt a bird and then get to release it. Vernon Kleen (below) is one of three people in IL licensed to catch hummingbirds. Once a person adopts a bird, they receive a note whenever the bird is later caught again.

Hummingbird 2 Hummingbird 3 Hummingbird 1

I learned some things in the presentation before the banding began. Did you know:

1) There is mainly one type of hummingbird in Illinois, the Ruby Throated Hummingbird. There is another that is seen occasionally, the Rufous Hummingbird, and a few others that are seen only very rarely.

2) Hummingbirds arrive around April 15 and depart again around August 15.

3) It is OK to leave feeders out well past August 15, even past Thanksgiving, giving the best opportunity to see other species. Birds will come to feeders even when there is snow on them. One approach is to take feeders inside overnight (to thaw) and put them back out in the morning.

4) The male Ruby Throat can adjust his feathers to hide his red neck. At the festival, we could see this happen with the caught birds, watching as they would show and then hide their red feathers. So interesting!

I have three feeders in my yard, fairly close together. I have one male that keeps them pretty much to himself. The pictures below are taken from my front window.

Hummingbird 4 Hummingbird 5

He sits in one of the two trees, on either side of the front walk, and watches the feeders and chases other birds away.

Hummingbird 6

Can you see him? He is just above and to the right of the highest/middle spruce branch.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

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