Sunday, June 03, 2012

Hummingbird Season!

Hummingbird on an agave!
A couple of years ago, we had the chance to watch a hummingbird banding session at the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center near Fort Davis.  Even the casual visitor to the Center this time of year is treated to a wonderful hummingbird viewing opportunity.  There are many feeders hanging around the visitor center, and you're welcome to sit awhile and enjoy watching these beautiful creatures.

Since the hummingbirds are back, we thought we'd share some of those banding session photos with you!
The hummingbird are captured in cages and temporarily put in mesh bags while they await inspection and tagging
Birds are handled carefully during very step of examination
Measuring each bird, before applying the band
Blowing air through a straw to move the birds feathers aside.  Is this female hummingbird carrying eggs?  Their skin is so transluscent, you can see eggs!
After handling, they remain still, then flip over and fly off!
Our region has been hard hit the past couple of years with drought--and last year, wildfire--and that's been tough on habitat and food sources for birds.  One of the keys for hummingbird survival is the sugar water bird lovers put out at hummingbird feeders. 

Would you like to feed hummingbirds and help with their survival?  There's a complete guide written by a resident of our region, Carolyn Ohl, available here.  Our region is also lucky to have Kelly B. Bryan, a hummingbird expert...the same gentleman who conducted the banding session at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center.  He has a great website, and he's also provided a great guide to the birds of our Far West Texas Chihuahuan Desert from Texas Parks and Wildlife here

The Nature Center is one of many sites on the Far West Texas Wildlife Trail, a project of our own Texas Mountain Trail, our neighboring Texas Pecos Trail and Texas Parks and Wildlife!

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