- Established 1982 -

HOME: www.hiltonpond.org

1-31 January 2015

Installment #612---Visitor #AmazingCounters.com

Subscribe for free to our award-winning nature newsletter

(Back to Preceding Week; on to Next Week)


Itineraries and prices for our 2015 trips to Lake Atitlán in Guatemala (Nov 2015) and to the
Orosi Valley (Ujarrás) in Costa Rica (Dec 2015)
are now on-line
. Sign up today!

— Click on logo above left for itinerary & trip details —

(plus others)

NOTE: As we got ready to devote our current installment of "This Week at Hilton Pond" to miscellaneous happenings during January 2015, it struck us that almost everything we planned to discuss could be represented by an acronym, an abbreviation, or an alpha code. Read on, please, to see what we mean. (NOTE: If any of the following material seems familiar, it's because some of it appeared in more abbreviated format on Hilton Pond Center's Facebook page.)

- HPC, ORT & BWD -

For Hilton Pond Center (HPC) and Operation RubyThroat (ORT), the most exciting thing so far in the new year has been publication of the January-February 2015 edition of Bird Watcher's Digest (BWD).We've been reading this popular bimonthly magazine since its very first issue back in 1978 and in years since have become friends with several staff members. We first met and came to love magazine founders Elsa and Bill Thompson Jr. during our days at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary (HMS); more recently through New River Birding & Nature Festival (NRBNF) in Fayette County, West Virginia (WV) got to know current editor and birder extraordinaire Bill Thompson III (BT3) and his multi-talented wife Julie Zickefoose (JZ, who writes and illustrates for the publication). Last spring Bill and Julie brought several staff representatives to the Festival, including "new" managing editor Dawn Hewitt (DH, above left), bird enthusiast and experienced journalist most recently from Indiana (IN). Almost the first thing DH said when we were introduced was, "You know, we really need to do an article about Operation RubyThroat and your fascinating hummingbird research in the Neotropics."

All text, maps, charts & photos © Hilton Pond Center
Cover image above © Bird Watcher's Digest

DH didn't have to twist an arm to get us to schedule a phone interview or connect her with alumni from our Central American (CAm) trips; we were happy to take her call later that summer for an in-depth explanation of what we've learned from ten years of Ruby-throated Hummingbird (alpha code RTHU) studies in Belize (BE), Costa Rica (CR), Guatemala (GUA), and Nicaragua (NIC). During the call, DH had lots of great questions and apparently took copious notes--which she transcribed and compiled into a well-written, entertaining, and accurate article that came out as one of the cover stories for BWD's latest issue (front cover above). We appreciate Dawn's attention to detail and encourage folks to take a look at the on-line version of her article. Better yet, spring for a subscription to this delightful magazine--either in digital or hard copy format. No matter how experienced a birder you might be, you're bound to learn something new and interesting from every issue. (From now until the end of February 2015 an annual subscription is just $10!)

- BLJA -

All text, maps, charts & photos © Hilton Pond Center

We always like to start the new year right, so on 1 Jan we were up at dawn to bait and set several traps (above) around Hilton Pond Center's (HPC) old farmhouse. Most traps are made from 1/2" x 1" welded wire mesh. Two are hanging sunflower seed traps (abbreviated SF on our banding data sheets), each containing a standard tube feeder and with seven "tunnels" that lead birds in but won't let them out. Three more are two-tunnel ground traps (W) designed long ago (we think) at the Wharton bird banding station in Massachusetts (MA), and there are two dove traps (D) with bigger mesh and wider tunnels; these were given to us by fellow Minnesota (UMN) grad student David Blockstein (DB), who studied Mourning Doves (MODO) in the hinterlands of North Dakota (ND).

All these are passive devices with no moving parts, but we also deployed a four-cell McCamey trap (Mc)--designed by chickadee enthusiast Franklin McCamey (FM) and modified from a Potter trap (P)--that involves treadles and sliding doors triggered when a bird tries to enter for food. This trap sits on a large platform feeder (not pictured) about five feet above ground level; like the various ground traps it is baited with the Center's trademark mix of three parts cracked corn, two parts white millet, and one part shell corn--with a handful of black sunflower seed thrown in as garnish. The final ground trap is an unusual design, an octagon with eight chambers--each with a treadle and trapdoor. This trap was donated to HPC by the late Kathy Klimkiewicz (KK) of the federal Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL).

All text, maps, charts & photos © Hilton Pond Center

One never knows what might enter our traps during a banding session, so we were quite pleased when at 9:10 a.m. we finally caught the first bird of 2015--a second-year Blue Jay (BLJA, above) of unknown sex. This species is of personal significance, for it's the bird we studied during four very long, very cold, very dark winters in the Twin Cities (MPLS-STP) while DB was out in ND researching MODO. We were fortunate in MN to find an exceedingly dense BLJA nesting area that straddled an oak savanna and a suburban residential subdivision totaling about 110 acres. With considerable help from local bander Jean Vesall (JV) we banded, color marked, aged, and sexed more than 1,500 BLJA and found more than a hundred nests in each of four study seasons.

All text, maps, charts & photos © Hilton Pond Center

After grad school and our return to what is now HPC we had hoped to continue our BLJA work here, but after banding 267 in our first seven years the local jay population crashed (see chart above)--perhaps due to West Nile Virus (WNV) and loss of a neighboring 70-acre pine forest; we serendipitously moved on to Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (RTHU). These days we are fortunate to capture 2-3 jays per year--which is why we were happy to have this as our inaugural banded bird on New Year's Day 2015.

All text, maps, charts & photos © Hilton Pond Center

- RWBL -

On 1 Jan we also turned the page in our bird journal and started anew with a "Year List" of birds seen at Hilton Pond Center (HPC). Birders are notorious for compiling all sorts of tallies--Life Lists, Year Lists, County Lists, Photo Lists, etc.--all of which bring pleasure to the individual lister. We encourage everyone to maintain at least a Yard List on a year-by-year basis, recording first sightings of each species by date. This kind of information allows for comparison of possible change over time and is especially relevant in these days when global climate variation might have impact on migration phenology.

We observed 19 species at HPC on New Year's Day 2015, which is about 11% of the 171 species seen on or over the property since 1982. Most unusual was the sighting of a solitary male Red-winged Blackbird (RWBL, above), a species that rarely shows up locally--especially in winter. Here's our first-day list, including nine species we banded.

TUVU--Turkey Vulture
RSHA--Red-shouldered Hawk
MODO--Mourning Dove (banded)
RBWO--Red-bellied Woodpecker
DOWO--Downy Woodpecker
BLJA--Blue Jay (banded)
CACH--Carolina Chickadee (banded)
TUTI--Eastern Tufted Titmouse
CARW--Carolina Wren
RCKI--Ruby-crowned Kinglet (banded)
AMRO--American Robin
NOCA--Northern Cardinal
CHSP--Chipping Sparrow
SOSP--Song Sparrow (banded)
WTSP--White-throated Sparrow (banded)
RWBL--Red-winged Blackbird
PUFI--Purple Finch (banded)
HOFI--House Finch (banded)
AMGO--American Goldfinch (banded)

NOTE: On the last day of January we spotted a Sharp-shinned Hawk (SSHA) perched high in trees above the old farmhouse before it glided out of sight. This brought the 2015 Yard List to 33--about 19% of species ever seen at HPC. By comparison, in all of 2014 we tallied 76 species (44% of 171), with the highest total in recent years coming in 2009 with 88 species (about 52%). Back in 1995 we actually BANDED 95 species (56%).

All text, maps, charts & photos © Hilton Pond Center

- ORT & EMC -

The second day of Jan 2014 was a nostalgic one. On this date exactly ten years ago our first team of Operation RubyThroat (ORT) citizen scientists--we called them the "Pioneers" (above, including wife Susan Hilton and son Billy Hilton III)--had just finished eight days in the Aloe Vera (AV) fields of Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica (CR), and was being replaced by the "Second Wave (below). These two groups--along with irreplaceable tico naturalist Ernesto M. Carman (EMC)--observed and captured Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (RTHU) in what was the first attempt to systematically band and study that well-known North American (NAm) species on its wintering grounds in the Neotropics.

All text, maps, charts & photos © Hilton Pond Center

We caught only 15 birds with those first two teams, but after 22 subsequent expeditions to Belize (BE), Guatemala (GUA), and Nicaragua (NIC) have trapped or netted a total of 1,243 RTHU--far surpassing the 46 that had been banded in all of history in Mexico (MEX) and Central America. We now know much more about RTHU on the "other end" of their migratory path, but many mysteries remain. Thus, ORT expeditions will keep going back to uncover additional secrets about these tiny balls of fluff we call "ours" but that really belong to every one of the ten counties in which they spend all or part of their year. Thanks to our Neotropical alumni--all 195 of you; you're the best!

All text, maps, charts & photos © Hilton Pond Center
Tripod photography photo above courtesy Rita Calandresa

And just another word about EMC. We had never met this young man prior to getting of the airplane in Liberia CR on 26 Dec 2004, but we trusted his guarantee to Holbrook Travel that there would be RTHU in the aloe fields. Our first year didn't work out as well as we wanted--the Pioneers and Second Wave got there before nectar-rich aloe plants were in bloom--so in 2006 we delayed our arrival date a month and the Oh-Sixers "found the sweet spot" for ruby-throats. In years since, our research results have gotten better and better, and the relationship between EMC and trip leader Bill Hilton Jr. (BHjr) has expanded and deepened both personally and professionally; 'Nesto truly is part of the family, and we have spent countless enjoyable and fruitful hours in the field together (above). We're pleased to be able to say we've known this incredibly talented still-young man for more than a decade. Happy anniversary, 'Nesto!


All text maps, charts & photos © Hilton Pond Center

- EABL -

After a cloudy weekend at Hilton Pond Center (HPC), bright sunshine fell on one of our nest boxes on the morning of 5 Jan 2015. This sudden influx of solar rays may have excited one resident pair of Eastern Bluebirds (EABL) enough to start investigating real estate offerings (above). The female--the duller-plumaged bird atop the box--and her mate took turns sticking heads through the entry hole, perhaps sizing up the structure before spring arrives. Or maybe they heard news that nighttime temperatures at HPC would be dropping into the teens later in the week and simply were looking for a warmer place to roost.

The moral of the story: Leave your nest boxes up year-round, and make sure they're clean and in good repair before nesting season starts. Various cavity-dwelling birds may roost in them at any season.

(NOTE: The male EABL in our photo was unbanded, but as shown above the female had a band on her left leg. Since we band all known females on the right leg we suspect we banded her locally as a nestling before she could be sexed.)

All text, maps, charts & photos © Hilton Pond Center

- WU -

And speaking of temperatures, if you ever look at Hilton Pond Center's (HPC) weather station page on WeatherUnderground (WU)--complete with its real-time Web cam image (above)--during January you may have noticed unusual readings that included flat-lined data (see chart below). It's not that everything stopped dead at HPC from 4-9 a.m., but the digital weather station had been having some battery problems. By day the sensors--which are on a tall pole 20 feet into Hilton Pond--are powered by a tiny solar panel. At night, a healthy 3-volt lithium battery supplies the juice and gets recharged by the panel. Not much charging happens on cloudy days, so nights that follow sometimes lack readings for temperature, precipitation, and windspeed/direction.

All text, maps, charts & photos © Hilton Pond Center

Alas, the battery--last replaced by brother Stan Hilton (SH) on 10 Dec 2013--seemed to have worn out prematurely. (The previous one lasted four years!) Following bander Hilton's November hernia surgery he was forbidden to carry things and exert himself, so the old battery got progressively weaker. We finally bit the bullet on 7 Jan by donning chest waders, toting a lightweight aluminum ladder, and replacing the battery. This seemed relatively urgent--especially since professional weather forecasters predicted very low temperatures for that night. After all, HPC needs to have accurate records of on-site weather phenomena so we can look for correlations. (NOTE: The overnight low got to a teeth-chattering 11.2 degrees F. at 7:37 a.m. on 8 Jan.)

All text, maps, charts & photos © Hilton Pond Center

- RBWO -

Two jumbo-sized sunflower tube feeders at Hilton Pond Center (HPC) seem to have gotten the attention of a female Red-bellied Woodpecker (RBWO, above). She makes visit after visit, grabbing one select seed at a time and flying off to insert it in a bark crevice. We can't tell if she's caching the seeds or cracking them open but she's spending lots of time at the task.

In this species, the male has a red nape, crown, and forehead; both sexes have a gray face. RBWO--in which one seldom sees the reddish underparts--are frequently misidentified as Red-headed Woodpeckers (RHWO), but in males and females of the latter species the entire head is scarlet. We've seen these increasingly scarce RHWO only three times at HPC, and we've never banded one here; by comparison, we've handled 85 RBWO since 1982.

All text, maps, charts & photos © Hilton Pond Center

- PUFI -

On the morning of 21 Jan 2015 we recaptured a Methuselan Purple Finch (PUFI, above) at Hilton Pond Center (HPC). This bird was banded locally back on 13 Mar 2009 when he was still wearing subadult brown; today--in his eighth year--he sports the raspberry feathers of an adult male. (Previous post-banding encounters include 16 Dec 2010 and 25 Jan 2011.) PUFI don't breed in the Carolina Piedmont, so this finch has quite a few migration miles on him--and a very good homing sense. Such site fidelity from New England or Canada to a tiny 11-acre nature center in York County SC simply boggles the mind. (NOTE: We also captured a male PUFI on 26 Jan that we banded as an after-second-year male on 25 Jan 2011, making him an after-sixth-year bird in 2015.) According to federal Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) records, the longevity record for PUFI is 10 years nine months.

All text, maps, charts & photos © Hilton Pond Center

One other recapture worth mentioning was a male Mourning Dove (MODO, above) trapped on the morning of 26 Jan 2015. We catch an average of 16 MODO each year and encounter a few of them on later dates. What was unusual about this most recent MODO was that he was banded on 5 Jan 2011 as a second-year bird--making him now a sixth-year individual. In our experience it's unusual for local MODO to live this long, especially because South Carolina is a big dove hunting state and there are even a few dove fields very close to HPC. We've had hunters within York County harvest our banded MODO legally and report them to the BBL; usually they're young birds shot within a few weeks after banding. (NOTE: Incredibly, the BBL has a record for a Georgia-banded Mourning Dove that was 30 years old when shot in Florida!)

All text, maps, charts & photos © Hilton Pond Center

During January we also recaptured two elderly Song Sparrows (SOSP, above) of unknown sex. One was banded on 11 Jan 2010 (now an after 6th year bird), and the other on 31 Dec 2011 (now fifth year). Both are old for HPC but short of the 11-year-old Colorado SOSP documented by the BBL.

All text, maps, charts & photos © Hilton Pond Center

- YBSA -

On the morning of 26 Jan 2015 we were pleased to hear the mewing of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (YBSA, above) from an old Pecan in the front yard at Hilton Pond Center (HPC). It was a second-year (still partly brownish) female (throat white rather than red in the male); note also the big white wing stripe that is diagnostic. This was our first sighting of the winter for this species and it figures she was in a tree riddled with horizontal rows of quarter-inch holes from at least 50 years of bark-tapping sapsuckers. We're guessing they know a good sap source when they taste it. (NOTE: We were only able to get one low-light image of the YBSA in a large Chinese Privet growing near the Pecan, but it still shows all the field marks.)


In the "abbreviated" photo essay above we have incorporated so-called "alpha codes" instead of actual abbreviations for bird names. Some folks don't like standardized alpha codes very much, but they are invaluable shorthand for banding at Hilton Pond Center (HPC) and for any birder transcribing lots of data. The Carolina Bird Club's Web site has a useful entry about the how's and why's of alpha coding:

Four-letter codes are commonly (and too often incorrectly) used as a short-hand way to write a bird name. Two different sets of codes are in use. The first codes were created by the Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) for use by bird banders in submitting data; consequently the codes are frequently referred to as “banding codes”. A slightly different set of codes has been published by the Institute for Bird Populations (IBP).

The basic codes were derived from a simple set of rules for reducing a name to four letters. A major problem is the rules can create “collisions”--cases where two (or more) different names reduce to the same four letters. In these cases, different codes had to be created ad hoc. Unfortunately, if you want to use the codes, you simply must memorize the special cases; there is no way around it. Worse, the BBL and IBP code sets differ in some of these ad hoc codes.

Here is a summary of the basic rules:
1. If the name is one word, the code is the first four letters.

DICK Dickcissel

2. If the name is two unhyphenated words, the code is the first two letters of each word.

MODO Mourning Dove
AMRO American Robin

3. If the name is two words, with the last word hyphenated, the code is the first two letters of the first word and the first letter of each part of the hyphenation.

EASO Eastern Screech-Owl
EAWP Eastern Wood-Pewee

4. If the name is two words, with the first word hyphenated, or simply three words, the first two letters of the code are the first letter of each of the first two parts of the hyphenation or of each of the first two words, and the second two letters of the code are the first two letters of the last word, or the third part of the hyphenation.

GCFL Great Crested Flycatcher
GTGR Great-tailed Grackle
RTHU Ruby-throated Hummingbird
RTHA Red-tailed Hawk
CWWI Chuck-will's-widow

5. If the name has four parts, either separate words or hyphenated parts, the code is the first letter of each part

BCNH Black-crowned Night-Heron
NRWS Northern Rough-winged Swallow

This alpha code business isn't as complicated as it may seem at first, and it really is a useful system; we encourage you to employ it to your advantage. To help there's even a 99-cent app for alpha codes for your iPhone; it's called "Band Code" and includes the preferred band sizes for each North American bird species. (There's also a 99-cent partner app called "Bird Codes," without the banding info; both are available from Apple via iTunes.) Just never use RUHU to refer to Ruby-throated Hummingbirds we band at Hilton Pond Center. THAT'S the Code for Rufous Hummingbird!

All text, maps, charts & photos © Hilton Pond Center

Payable to: funding@hiltonpond.org

Checks can be sent to Hilton Pond Center at:
1432 DeVinney Road
York SC 29745

All contributions are tax-deductible on your
income tax form

See list of recent supporters below

"This Week at Hilton Pond" is written and photographed by Bill Hilton Jr., executive director of Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History

Please refer "This Week at Hilton Pond" to others by clicking on this button:

Follow us on Twitter:


Comments or questions about this week's installment? Send an E-mail to INFO. (Be sure to scroll down for a tally of birds banded/recaptured during the period, plus other nature notes.)

Click for York, South Carolina Forecast
Click on image at right for live Web cam of Hilton Pond,
plus daily weather summary

Transmission of weather data from Hilton Pond Center via WeatherSnoop for Mac.

You may wish to consult our Index of all nature topics covered since
February 2000, or use our on-line
Hilton Pond Search Engine:

For your very own on-line subscription to "This Week at Hilton Pond,"
just click on the image above. It's guaranteed fat-free!

Thanks to the following fine folks for recent gifts in support of Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History and/or Operation RubyThroat: The Hummingbird Project. Your tax-deductible contributions allow us, among other things, to continue writing, photographing, and sharing "This Week at Hilton Pond" with students, teachers, and the general public. Please see Support or scroll below if you'd like to make a gift of your own.

We're pleased folks are thinking about the work of the Center and making donations. Those listed below made contributions received during the period 1-31 January 2015. Please join them if you can in coming weeks.

Gifts can be made via PayPal (funding@hiltonpond.org), by credit card via Network for Good (see link below), or by personal check (c/o Hilton Pond Center, 1432 DeVinney Road, York SC 29745).

  • Alexis Dandretta (alumna of Operation RubyThroat Costa Rica-East 2014)
  • Anne C. Dillon (long-time repeat donor)
  • East Tennessee Foundation, on behalf of supporters Mary Kay & William Sullivan
  • Lois Gebhardt
  • James Hutto (via Network for Good)
  • Kimberly-Clark Foundation (funds to match a personal donation by long-term supporters Gavin MacDonald & Mary Kimberly, alumni of SIX Operation RubyThroat expeditions)
  • Betsy Russell (alumna of our first Operation RubyThroat Costa Rica-West expedition in 2004)
If you enjoy "This Week at Hilton Pond," please help support
Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History.
It's painless, and YOU can make a difference!

(Just CLICK on a logo below or send a check if you like; see Support for address.)

Make credit card donations
on-line via
Network for Good:
Use your PayPal account
to make direct donations:
If you like shopping on-line please become a member of iGive, through which 1,500+ on-line stores from Amazon to Lands' End and even iTunes donate a percentage of your purchase price to support Hilton Pond Center. ..Every new member who registers with iGive and makes a purchase through them earns an ADDITIONAL $5 for the Center. You can even do Web searches through iGive and earn a penny per search--sometimes TWO--for the cause! Please enroll by going to the iGive Web site. It's a painless, important way for YOU to support our on-going work in conservation, education, and research. Add the iGive Toolbar to your browser and register Operation RubyThroat as your preferred charity to make it even easier to help Hilton Pond Center when you shop.

The Piedmont Naturalist--Vol. 1--1986 (Hilton Pond Press) is an award-winning collection of newspaper columns that first appeared in The Herald in Rock Hill SC. Optimized for tablets such as iPad and Kindle, electronic downloads of the now out-of-print volume are available by clicking on the links below. The digital version includes pen-and-ink drawings from the original edition--plus lots of new color photos. All sales go
to support the work of
Hilton Pond Center.

1-31 January 2015

Ruby-crowned Kinglet--1
American Goldfinch--12
Pine Siskin--23
Carolina Chickadee--1
Song Sparrow--1
White-throated Sparrow--8
Purple Finch--82
House Finch--15
Blue Jay--1
Mourning Dove--8

* = New banded species for 2015

10 species
152 individuals

10 species (34-yr. avg. = 64.4)

152 individuals
(34-yr. avg. =

(since 28 June 1982, during which time 171 species have been observed on or over the property)
126 species
61,038 individuals

(with original banding date, sex, and current age):
Chipping Sparrow (1)
02/12/14--after 2nd year unknown

Song Sparrow (2)
01/11/10--after 6th year unknown
12/31/11--5th year unknown

Northern Cardinal (2)
09/27/11--5th year female
09/29/13--3rd year female

White-throated Sparrow (2)
01/13/14--3rd year female
02/20/14--3rd year unknown

Purple Finch (3)
03/13/09--8th year male
01/25/11--after 6th year male
03/25/13--after 4th year male

House Finch (5)
05/21/12--4th year male
05/16/13--after 3rd year female
03/29/14--after 2nd year female
07/11/14--2nd year male
08/12/14--2nd year female

Mourning Dove (2)
01/05/11--6th year male
02/13/14--after 2nd year male

--After our New Year's Day capture of a Blue Jay at Hilton Pond Center (see comments in photo essay above), we managed to trap 151 more birds and a total of ten species during Jan 2015 (see list at left). All would be species expected across the Carolina Piedmont in winter.

--We also had significant returns of old birds at the Center during January; these are listed below left. (Some are described in the write-up above.)

--The January low at Hilton Pond Center came at 7:37 a.m. on 8 Jan when the digital thermometer registered 11.2 degrees F. Two days later a thin skin of ice covered the entire pond for the first time this winter--to be expected after three consecutive nights of subfreezing temperatures.

--At least one Wood Duck drake arrived at the Center on 19 Jan, right on schedule after the species' usual mid-winter absence. If there's a WODU hen around he'll begin courtship and join her in investigating four nest boxes around the pond. Unfortunately, our waterfowl observations will be diminished this year because--despite recent chainsawing and log-splitting efforts--much of that giant White Oak tree that fell last fall still blocks the view from our office in the old farmhouse.

--As of 31 Jan the Center's 2015 Yard List stands at 33--about 19% of the 171 avian species encountered locally since 1982. The list thus far (in taxonomixc order): Wood Duck, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Eastern Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, Hermit Thrush, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, Cedar Waxwing, Pine Warbler, Northern Cardinal, Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Purple Finch, House Finch, Pine Siskin & American Goldfinch.

--The immediate past installment of "This Week at Hilton Pond" was a summary report for our 2014 Banding Results, including Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. The write-up is archived and always available on the Center's Web site as Installment #611.

All text & photos © Hilton Pond Center

Oct 15 to Mar 15:
East of the Rockies please report your sightings of
Vagrant & Winter Hummingbirds

(immature male Rufous Hummingbird at right)

(Back to Preceding Week; on to Next Week)

Back to "This Week at Hilton Pond" Main

Current Weather Conditions at Hilton Pond Center

The Center's backyard Web cam at Weather Underground

Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History is a non-profit research, conservation & education organization in York, South Carolina USA; phone (803) 684-5852. Directed by Dr. Bill Hilton Jr., aka "The Piedmont Naturalist," it is parent organization for Operation RubyThroat. Web site contents--including text and photos--may NOT be duplicated, modified, or used in any way except with express written permission of Hilton Pond Center. All rights reserved worldwide. To request permission for use or for further assistance, please contact Webmaster.