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19-31 January 2018

Installment #668---Visitor #AmazingCounters.com

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Our 30th
Operation RubyThroat
Citizen Science Hummingbird Expedition
to the Neotropics

Costa Rica-East (Paraíso/Ujarrás)
++ 31 Oct thru 8 Nov 2018 ++

Contact Holbrook Travel to register today!

Come be an integral part of a real citizen-science project!

Lesson's Motmot, above right (formerly Blue-crowned Motmot)


On 19 January 2018 we departed Hilton Pond Center for Costa Rica and our 28th Neotropical expedition as part of Operation RubyThroat: The Hummingbird Project. It takes a long time to process all the photos and data for our on-line trip summary, so please check back later for the final version. (We'll post to Facebook, send messages to listservs, and e-mail our subscribers when everything is complete.)

NOTE: We did return to the Center 28 January 2018 and quickly refilled the empty seed feeders. (There was still quite a bit of suet available.) Then we spent the last three days of the month playing catch-up and doing a little bird banding. Scroll down on this page to see those somewhat paltry capture results.

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

This adult male Volcano Hummingbird (above) was perched on territory near the apex of Irazú Volcano above Cartago, Costa Rica in January 2018. An endemic species, Selasphorus flammula, it breeds only in the high mountains of Costa Rica and Chiriqui, Panama. Volcano Hummingbirds are slightly smaller than Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Archilochus colubris.

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

Don't forget to scroll down for Nature Notes & Photos,
plus lists of all birds banded or recaptured during the period.

Payable to: funding@hiltonpond.org

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

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

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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.)

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plus daily weather summary

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

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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. Please join them if you can in coming weeks.

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

  • NOTE: Donations designated for "The Ela Fund" in memory of Elaida Mayorga Villanueva will be acknowledged in an early February 2018 installment.
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 1,800+ 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.

19-31 January 2018

American Goldfinch--

* = new banded species for 2018

1 species
13 individuals

10 species (37-yr. avg. = 63.5)

109 individuals
(37-yr. avg. =
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds = 0

(Banding began 28 June 1982; since then 171 species have been observed on or over the property.)
126 species banded
66,984 individuals banded

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds = 5,971

(with original banding date, sex, and current age):
House Finch (1)
06/23/17--2nd year female

--As of 31 Jan Hilton Pond Center's 2018 Yard List stood at 38--about 22% of the 171 avian species encountered locally since 1982 and a very good start for the year (If you're not keeping a yard list for your own property we encourage you to do so, and to report sightings via eBird.) New species this week: Common Grackle.

--Our immediate past installment of "This Week at Hilton Pond" was a potpourri of nature happenings from early Jan 2018. It is archived and always available on the Center's Web site as Installment #667.

All text & photos © Hilton Pond Center

Please report your
sightings of
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

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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.