Photos: Rufous Hummingbirds stop by Radford during migration
Nancy Kent of Radford shares these photos and writes:
In November, Clyde Kessler, Radford’s resident bird expert, told me that hummingbirds had been seen at feeders in Radford and that they may be Rufous Hummingbirds. These are usually found in the Western U.S., and they have a sort nesting season in Alaska. When I received an email on Nov. 17 that I might be able to see these birds at the home of Melanie Fox and her family, I immediately picked up my camera and headed out!
The birds came to sip sugar water soon after I arrived. Not long after I arrived, Bruce Peterjohn, a bird bander with the USGS arrived, ready to capture the little creatures and put tiny aluminum “bracelets” on their legs to try to check their flight patterns. He showed us the wire cage as well as the sheet of metal with numbers printed on it. He already had prepared bands by smoothing them and placing them on a metal holder. The cage had a trap door held open with fish line. A hummer soon flew into the trap to sip from the feeder that was hanging inside.
Bruce gave Clyde the job of minding the door in case the other bird flew in while the first one was weighed, measured, and identified while being held gently.
Finally Bruce placed the little creature on Melanie’s out-stretched hand and it flew away. As Bruce returned to holding the line, the second bird soon flew into the trap. Both birds were hatch-year Rufous Hummingbirds – one was a male and the other a female. Both birds did return to feed at the Fox’s residence until they continued their migration.
What super Saturday for this roving photographer!
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