Cherish is my favorite word, and I cherish the ability of turning the routine into a beautiful moment.
Nature creates in me, a spiritual and meditative time to bring peace, harmony and balance, into an otherwise ordinary day~
Mary Howell Cromer

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Banding of Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds~

Yesterday a dear friend of mine, Teressa, treated me to a gift pass to enter the lovely Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, which has quite a wonderful collection of outstanding gardens and grounds.

When I was a small child my parents rented a country home from the late Theodore Klein, who was for more than half a century a renowned leader of the nursery and landscaping industry. Some of my fondest recollections from my childhood was to work alongside Mr. Klein and his family when they would put evergreen wreaths together for Christmas season. I got to help and the wonderful evergreen fragrances was to become a fragrance that takes me back to those tender years.

Mr. Klein had a small castle built on his estate along with other cabins that looked very much like those that might be found in Cotswold in the United Kingdom. Yew Dell is only one of thirteen American gardens that are designated as a Partnership Garden by the Garden Conservancy, which is a national organization that represents those who are dedicated to preserving America's finest gardens.

The reason for my going in particular yesterday was to view a Hummingbird bander who was going to capture some of the lovely Ruby-throated Hummers, take measurements, place an identification band on their legs, and then release them. I found it all so fascinating and could not help but think about fellow blogger Phil and all that he does in the United Kingdom along side Will in banding all sorts of birds. This was my first treat at getting to observe any kind of bird banding. They had placed a small harmless wire cage onto the outside of the Hummingbird feeder and then they would reach in and gently collect one of the birds and place it into a small mesh bag. Then the bander would remove the bird, place it into the toe of a nylon stocking to keep it safely tucked while being handled.  He would take some measurements, weigh them and then place the ID band around the leg, before releasing the little wonders back out into the wild.

I was able to observe 3 different birds having this done and all 3 were adult males. They should weigh over 5 grams prior to hitting the air for migrating and none of the three had reached their prime weight yet, but should have that up within a couple of weeks~

The bander allowed a little girl to hold this little Hummingbird and as he slowly raised his hand from above the Hummingbird, the little girl set the little guy was such a treat to have this opportunity~

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  1. Oh, it must have a treat for little girl to hold it in her hands, and a Hummingbird of course.

  2. Gosh there are so small, how can you band them??? Excellent documentary Mary and I guess you were thrilled!!!

  3. A great story, description and photos of the process Mary and thanks for the mention. When I ringed at Long Point Canada in the 90's although we caught hummers we didn't ring them because at that time there wasn't a small enough ring (band) to fit. I guess things have moved on in that regard and it is good to see someone sharing their knowledge and expertise in a demonstration. Those guys aren't too big at 5gms are they? But what survivors.

  4. Awseome reportage and very nice images! So cool ;)


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